RELATIONSHIPS IN HARMONY
Bible Love Notes
“Live in harmony with one another.… 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.” ~ Romans 12:16-18
We find peace and harmony in relationships by repenting when we blow it, forgiving others when they blow it, and offering grace.
“As far as it depends on us…”
Several years ago, a beloved family member became an ex-vangelical and cut off contact with my husband and me, harshly criticizing our faith. It’s ironic that ex-vangelicals claim to be more accepting and loving than Bible-believing Christians, but they’re harsh critics of any who disagree with them.
It became very clear to us that the only way we could restore this relationship was to deny biblical teachings on LGBTQ lifestyles, abortion, universal salvation, and women’s roles in the family.
We couldn’t do that.
But we refused to treat our loved one as she has treated us.
Instead of returning evil for evil, the teaching of Romans 12 helps us to forgive, try to keep the lines of communication open and seek peace with her. But she wanted nothing to do with us. We’re not living in harmony with this family member, but “as far as it depended on us,” we tried (Matthew 10:32-39).
To better understand the beliefs of ex-vangelicals, see Wilderness Wanderers.
How do these verses add to the truths in Romans 12?
1 John 4:19-21: “We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.”
Ephesians 4:32: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Colossians 3:12: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Beware of the Boundaries teachings which contradict the truths of Romans 12 by encouraging us to “protect” ourselves from family members who don’t affirm us.