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When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him. Proverbs 16:7

I used to work at a factory where there was this old man, I’ll call him John, who was a walking Bible Encyclopedia. He was a short, stout little man who walked with a bit of a limp due to years of hard work on the farm and arthritis which had attacked him.

John wasn’t afraid to open ever conversation with something from the bible, a verse, a thought, a question about where you were with the Lord. He was a humble man with a captivating smile and a twinkle in his eye, and although he was a humble man, he wasn’t afraid to ‘boast’ a bit about the fact that he’d read the Bible through every year for 40 years! The man knew his Bible and he loved Jesus dearly.

While there were some that mocked John when he wasn’t around, no one turned him away when he stopped by to talk. He was a well respected man and when he died a few years later the church was packed with fellow factory workers, community people, family and friends, some of whom John had lead to a saving faith in Jesus.

The interesting thing to me about John is that there was nothing that would really draw you to the man. He was sort of, well, goofy in some ways and simple in others. He didn’t press himself on you, but he wasn’t afraid to ask how you were and give you advice on how to live life. He wasn’t concerned about how other people thought of him. He WAS concerned about what Jesus thought of him.

In the wisdom of Proverbs we see the way to living a life of peace. The way to living in peace is to focus on living for Jesus. It’s interesting to note there are three players in this short verse. Myself, God and my enemies. But my enemies are the third player and not directly involved in the process. The most important players are me and God.

There will always be those people who oppose us. We’ll be judged for our past, our family background, our gender, or life-style, our convictions, even our hair color. The list is endless of things people will be able to find to judge you on. Opposition in life is inevitable. If you aren’t opposed by SOMEONE in life about SOMETHING then you are doing NOTHING! It’s God’s job to deal with our enemies. Our only responsibility is to make sure we are in right relationship with Him.

What is important for us as Christ-followers is that we don’t give the enemy any ammunition. Peter tells us “Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you.” (1 Peter 2:20). Many times we complain about persecution or attack and fail to realize that sometimes the actions against us are at least partially our own fault.

The message of Proverbs 16:7 is this. Make the main focus of your life today, to live for Jesus. Rely on His Spirit to guide your thoughts, actions and words. In this way, even though people will oppose you they will have no evidence to back up their attack. They may not like you, but they will have to admit (if nothing else to themselves) that their attacks are unjustified. Each of should live in such away that even our most vicious enemies will say, “I don’t like them, but I have to admit they seem to have their act together!”

 PRAYER: Father God. You know better than I that there are people in my life that oppose me for many reasons. Some of those reasons may be justified. I ask that you would give me the wisdom and strength to resolve those to the best of my ability. I also pray that you would empower me to live from this day forward in such a way that others will have no evidence to convict me of their negative feelings about me. What I really want God, is for you to be glorified in my daily life to all that I come in contact with. I give you all the praise and glory for this. Amen.

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