15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by 14 “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. In so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:14–21 (ESV)
One way to handle conflict at work, along with following proper established protocol by the company or institution for which you work, is to follow the guidelines set forth in Romans 12:14-21. While these commands and encouragements are applicable for the home, personal relationships, church and when engaging the public, they also contain practical wisdom for the work place.
Today, we examine Romans 12:17. The text says, “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.” Let’s examine the verse.
I’m tired! I’ve just completed a particularly long and exhausting week of work and I’m physically tired. I am not tired of doing the work I do, but I’m tired because of the work I do. There is a difference. I have experienced the former and am presently feeling the latter.
Sometimes, we may become tired of applying the Lord’s Word into our everyday lives and experiences. It is then that we must remember to not become weary in well doing (Galatians 6:9).
We must never become tired in doing what God requires, even when it becomes difficult. Case in point would be with regard to today’s text. Romans 12:17 says, “Repay no one evil for evil.” When believers in Christ receive evil treatment by other people, including co-workers, they are not to repay the individual with harsh and wrong behavior.
In contrast, the text continues to say, “…but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.” The word honorable (καλός; kalos) means that which is praiseworthy, fitting and beautiful. It is behavior which provides the recipient with something of superior benefit.
Dr. John MacArthur writes, “The OT law of “eye for eye, tooth for tooth” was never intended to be applied by individuals in the OT or NT; but it was a standard for the collective society to use to enforce good conduct among people (1 Thess. 5:15; Ex. 21:23–24; cf. Lev. 24:20; Deut. 19:21; 1 Pet. 3:8–9). Christians are to respect what is intrinsically proper and honest and have the right behavior when they are around others, especially unbelievers.”
Dear Lord, please give all of us the strength, when we are weary, to do that which is excellent in your sight. You are our strength and our Redeemer. Amen!
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Soli deo Gloria!