If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
Well, we all know that can be easier said than done at times. Some people just seem to like to stir things up and push your buttons until you could just spit as my sister Josie always used to say. (I can’t really say spitting comes to my mind when I am angry, but you get the idea.) It just seems as though there’s one in every group whether it is co-workers, family or friends some people just know which buttons to push to get a rise out of us. I even asked my grandson who is 3 the other day what he was doing because he had a bit of a mischievous look on his face and he said, “I’m pushing your buttons!”
This is what Paul is saying, “as much as lies in YOU, live peaceably with all men.” You cannot control anyone else’s behavior, you can only control yourself. This verse is not saying it will always be possible to live peaceably with all men, it is saying that we shouldn’t be the cause of the trouble. As tempting as it is to retaliate and say or do the same type of things back to these people we are called to rise above that temptation and control ourselves. Don’t feed the fight, don’t give those people anything to work with, just walk away. If it is possible to avoid putting ourselves in a situation then avoid it by all means. There will be times when it is necessary to take a firm stand and correct lies that could be spoken against you just be careful to try to stop there, don’t indulge the desire to get revenge.
Now, here comes the really tough part for us as women; don’t stir things up by rallying the troops! What do I mean by that? It is easier to keep quiet with that person that is driving us crazy and avoiding those situations than it is for us to NOT pull all of our friends together to talk about her and make sure our friends know that she has pushed “my” last button and she did this and she said that but well, I have risen above all of that and I am not stirring things up with her because I have chosen to live peaceably with her. Really? Have you? If you are stirring things up with your friends against the other person have you really chosen to live peaceably? No, you haven’t. I am not saying that you can’t talk to a friend to pray and gain the strength you need to deal with the situation, I am just saying be careful you aren’t trying to get others to stir things up in your place.
This is seriously not an easy task at times, but it is the right thing to do. We are not talking here about taking a stand for what is right and standing up for the things God would have us stand up for; this is when someone just seems to have it in for you personally. We should ALWAYS stand up for God and the things of God but even then we need to be prayed up so we know that God is glorified by our behaviors and words. If you or someone you know is struggling with this pray for God to give the strength needed to let it go trust me it will probably shock the “button pusher” to the point at first of not knowing what to do or say if you refuse to contribute to the situation. There are more important things to concern yourself with than someone who likes trouble, the best thing you can do is pray that God will help them get through whatever is causing them so much hurt that they feel the need to lash out. You are a strong woman and that is best revealed when we choose to hold our tongues.
“First we make our attitudes. Then our attitudes make us.” Dennis Waitley