Be at Peace (Romans 12:18)

If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.

Romans 12:18

I love the way that God, through Paul, phrases this. He does not say that I must live a life that is at peace with all, because He knows that it is impossible. He does not say that I should be subject to external factors like how the other person is feeling today. God tells me that I must be at peaceso far as it depends on [me].

A quick glance at the definitions for the word rendered peace in English leaves no room for doubt but that God wants to me live a peaceful, harmonious life insofar as that depends on me. This means that I should not be contentious or rouse the rabble or any other such thing. Rather, I should speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) and not worry over things that I cannot change.

Right now, there is SO MUCH application for this command. Election season is here and every person with whom I am connected via social media has something to say about everything. The reality is that I care not one iota for their opinions on matters. If their position contradicts what God says on the topic, then they are wrong. If their position is in agreement with God, then they are correct. Plain and simple. I know that it is only going to get worse and that the cacophony will only rise to fever pitch as the actual election nears and I am told to live at peace with all men so far as it depends on me. There are so many other places where this becomes difficult — the daily commute, people offering well-meaning (but unsolicited) advice on how to be a parent, everyone who has an opinion about anything and wants to share it with me (whether I want to hear it or no) — and still the command remains: If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. I am not responsible for things I cannot control, but what I can control God commands me to control in favor of living peacefully.

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