The Message

Why Can’t We Get Along?

It seems that with each passing day, the news gets scarier. Most of the bad news comes from decisions to reject differences with violence.

In many situations, one party justifies hatred to harm another party. In other words, evil is returned for what is perceived to be evil.

Surely, that logic is seen as reasonable or fair by the offender. Is it ok to give an eye for an eye?

Proverbs 14:12 says that there is a way that seems right to a man but the end is death. When we do what we feel like doing without regard to God, we will usually make a bad decision. God’s ways are higher than our ways. God’s ways seem foolish to the natural man. When Jesus told Peter that He was going to be killed by men, Peter responded in a way that we can understand.

Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you.”

Peter could not see the higher way. He was blind to a better way. Man without God’s help is blind to the will of God. Man without Christ remains in darkness and lives in sin. We should know by now that sin produces death. Unforgiven sin causes much harm to the person who is offended as well as all those the offender tries to harm. Unforgiven sin is like swallowing poison, it is self destructive. Forgiveness is not natural to man, it is supernatural. Forgiveness is the higher way of God.

Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me: you do not have in mind the things of God but the things of men.”

The things of men produce death. The things of God produce life. So what do we see in our world now? The things of men or the things of God?

What about your life? Have you forgiven all the sins committed against you? God has clearly commanded that we forgive all sins, not some of them.

Even the most serious sin is to be forgiven. What sin did Christ not die for on the cross? He died for every single sin – past, present and future, it was a Perfect Sacrifice. Christ calls us to follow His example.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”

If we demand our own way and refuse God’s way, we will descend into strife, conflict and division. We can do that as individuals or as a nation.

The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

We cannot control what other people choose to do but we have the power to choose Christ by asking Him to forgive us for all of our sins. Furthermore, we can ask Christ to give us the power to forgive all of the sins committed against us. We can take up His cross and follow Him. We can do our best by the grace of God to get along!

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:9-21