If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone – Romans 12:18 (NIV)
There are times when we have felt very angry towards other people due to something that they have rightfully or wrongly done to us. It may be a family member, a friend, a coworker or even an acquaintance for that matter. During these times of anger, it is very easy to say or do something that we end up regretting because it ends up ruining a relationship we had with the other person or at the very least leaves us very uncomfortable around that person.
The word of God has a clear prescription of dealing with these situations. First, the Bible reminds us that as far as it depends on us, we should live at peace with everyone. This scripture has a huge challenge on any Christian that “as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone”. This means that it all begins with you as the Christian. We often feel like the other person should come and apologize to us and if they don’t, we treat them differently or do not talk to them again. We retreat to our corners and feel content at not having anything to do with the brother or sister who has hurt us. However, this scripture shows us that it really starts with us. The other person, as right or wrong as they may be, does not have the responsibility of bringing peace to that situation. It depends on you and I. The beauty about this is that if the other person also adopts this biblical view that it depends on them, then both parties will be driven towards reconciliation by simply acknowledging that it depends on them to live at peace with everyone.
Now, the scripture begins by stating; “if it is possible”. This shows us that the Lord understands that living at peace with everyone is not easy at all. On the contrary, it is a huge challenge. However, we as children of God are to make sure that “it depends on us” and take the necessary steps to live at peace with everyone.
May we challenge ourselves that regardless of how upset or disappointed we may be, we will make sure that it depends on us and seek peace instead of conflict with others and thus fulfill what the Lord has spoken through His word!