Romans 12:18 (NIV)
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
This scripture seems so simple, yet to apply it in real time and to our real relationships can be quite challenging. It puts the total responsibility of effort onto the person reading it. Since you just read it, guess what? You have now been officially challenged by the word of God to go well past your comfort zone to forgive and love appropriately.
How far is “as far as it depends on you?” Well, a couple verses later it reads, “On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:20-21).
The point that the apostle Paul is making in this scripture is that sometimes the wisest and most helpful thing to do may also be the toughest… blessing the person who bugs the heck out of you.
It is my experience that very few people operate in the “as far as depends on you”, but instead, operate in the “as long as it’s easy and comfortable.” We can’t make someone live at peace with us, but we can be a reflection of Christ by forgiving and loving them (appropriately). This may be as small a thing as a kind email coupled with a sincere prayer for the person. It may be as much as blessing them in some unexpected way and apologizing for your part.
As the scripture continues, we learn that the thing that may bring a person to repentance and reconciliation is by blessing those whom you really feel are at fault. You are essentially, “overcoming evil with good.”
Today, l challenge you to live in the, “as far as it depends on you”! Don’t expect anything in return from another person and just simply go forward where “it is possible” and let the love of Christ in you, seep into your relationships. Today, choose to live at peace with everyone! (Even if they bug the heck out of you!)
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