In Romans 12: 16-21, the Apostle Paul summarizes the real core of Christian living. If we love someone the way Christ loves each of us unconditionally, we will be willing to forgive that person of any trespasses that may be committed against us. If we have experienced God’s grace, we will want to pass it on to others. Remember, grace is unmerited favor. By giving an enemy a drink of water to quench his thirst, or offering him some victuals to satisfy his hunger, we are not excusing his misdeeds, but we are recognizing him, forgiving him, and loving him in spite of those misdeeds, just as Christ recognizes us, forgives us, and loves us in spite of our misdeeds.
In Psalm 34:11-17 we read,
Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord. What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
The Scriptures often connect the fear of the Lord (love and reverence for Him) with obedience. In Ecclesiastes 12:13 we are told to “ Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man”. And in John 14:23 the Savior reminds us that “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him“. David reminds us that a person who fears the Lord: (1) does not bear false witness against anyone, (2) turns from his sins, (3) seeks to do good continually, and (4) is a promoter of peace.
Reverence (or fear of the Lord) is much more than sitting quietly in a church pew on Sunday. It includes obeying God in the way we live, walk, talk, as well as, the way we treat others. David encouraged others to trust and fear God, and to show faith, truth, obedience, and goodness in their lives. David reverenced God, and for the most part he chose the way of goodness and peace. He even showed kindness towards some of his worst enemies (see 1 Samuel 24:1-8; 26:5-25).
In 1 Peter 3:10-12, the Apostle Peter gives us this counsel for living in a non-Christian environment:
For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil
We may often think that peace should come to us without any effort on our part. However, it is the Apostle Peter who says, “seek peace, and ensue [strive to obtain] it” (1 Peter 3:11). The Apostle Paul echoes this thought in Romans 12:18 when he says, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men,”
A person who desires peace cannot be argumentative or contentious. Since peaceful relationships come from our efforts at peacemaking, we must work hard at living at peace with others, both Christians and non-Christians, every day.