Summary: Continuation of the expository study of the Book of Romans
Book of Romans Study
Lesson # 34 – Romans 12:17-21
By Rev. James May
We live in a world where it is so easy to suddenly find yourself in a position of having to defend yourself against something or someone that will come against you without any probable cause.
I was watching a video a few days ago on Facebook that depicted an incident of road rage that was really wild. Of course, I finally figured out that it was all part of a staged scene for a comedy show, but in the beginning it wasn’t hard to believe that it had actually happened.
Road rage is a very common thing these days and it only takes a moment to trigger it. Even as Christians I find that there are times when we have to really exhibit some self-control to keep from getting caught up in it to some degree. There’s just something about being behind the steering wheel of a car or truck, feeling that power at your control, and having an agenda or somewhere that you just have to go, that tends to change your entire attitude.
I’ve seen people who are perfectly considerate of others, always giving others preferential treatment upon entering doors or even in the lines at the grocery story, having a kind heart and yet behind the wheel of a car all of that consideration turns into self-centeredness that will quickly evolve into rage at the least provocation.
In the video I saw, all it took for the rage to begin was for a man with his family in the car to park in an open parking spot. He was unaware that a had saw this same parking spot from a long ways off and she was determined to get it no matter what. She wasn’t waiting to pull in but had spotted it across the block and was trying to get there because it would save her a few steps to the door of the hardware store.
He took the spot and then it began. Her road rage kicked into high gear as he pulled away. She rammed his car repeatedly from the rear, threatening the lives of his kids in the back seat and even trying to shove him off the road into the deep gullies more than once, coming close to doing so and putting his whole family in jeopardy.
They finally stopped and were arguing when the police arrived to separate them. The woman accused him of taking her parking spot, and was determined to get even with him for that. She then confessed that she wanted that spot so she could save a few steps and quickly go buy a shovel so she could go home and “brain” her neighbor’s dog with it because the dog was bothering her. Now she was in double trouble for threatening the lives of the people in the car and threatening to kill her neighbor’s dog too.
She was just being really crazy, and I’m glad it was a comedy skit, but the reality is that such a thing is not really unbelievable. What a crazy world we live in!
This last part of Romans Chapter 12 deals with this fiery nature of man and tells us that this is not the way that a Christian should act.
Romans 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
Let me just say right here that I’m glad the Apostle was inspired to write those words, “if it be possible” in this scripture. Sometimes it just isn’t possible. Trouble is going to come. There are some people that you cannot get along with no matter how hard you try because they don’t want to get along with you.
It happens in the workplace. It happens on the highways. It happens in the marketplace. And it also happens in the House of God among God’s own people.
If you’ve been around very long you know that there are some people in the church that are just impossible to be around without them getting on your nerves or causing your frustration to rise to the point that it causes conflict. Sometimes biting your lip and keeping your mouth shut, and letting something go, is truly hard to do. You just feel like you have to say something to try and correct the situation, or you’ll just bust.
Some folks cannot hold their tongue and that tongue is a world of fire as the Apostle James says. In the old days, when a lot of people had Citizens Band Short wave radios in their cars, we called those folks “Motor Mouths”, always running off at the mouth but with nothing important to say.
Some folks are just plain bossy, overbearing and will try to take charge of everything and everybody. They know it all and are quick to tell you that they do. If you don’t do as they want, or as they believe is the “best way”, then you’re going to have an enemy and they will lash back with words, if not with actions that are aimed at making you look foolish. Nobody likes a “Know-it-all”, especially those of us who already know it all!