Living at peace
'If...possible...live at peace with everyone.' Romans 12:18 NIV
'Live at peace with everyone' seems an overwhelming expectation! The apostle Paul explains it a bit more: 'Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord' (Romans 12:17-19 NIV).
What Paul is encouraging us to do is to take responsibility for our own actions. We can think of peaceful living as an idyllic world where everyone is happy and loving towards each other, but Paul describes living 'at peace' as having everything to do with how we personally respond to actions committed against us. It's about choosing to live at peace with those who make life difficult for us, whether they regret their actions or not. That is how peace depends on us, and also how we can avoid the mentality that someone else's wrongdoing entitles us to react in the same manner.
Romans 12 calls us to live by godly standards - extending peace, patience, love and forgiveness - even when those around us aren't. We're told 'not be overcome by evil, but [to] overcome evil with good' (Romans 12:21 NIV). This is the key to 'living at peace' and spreading peace.
So what now? Think of the last person who annoyed you. Ask God for peace for yourself and pray for that person, that God will bless them.
Soulfood: 2 Cor 11:16-33 2 Cor 12 2 Cor 13:1-14 Matt 25:31-40 Ps 19 Pro 21:3,