Romans 12:18 (ESV) If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. A pretty easy pill to swallow: this concept of living peaceably. However stop and really think about where you fit into the scheme of things when it comes to this verse. We find that all the responsibility sits squarely on the shoulders of the person reading the verse. So if the shoe fits, wear it definitely applies and the challenge has been issued by the Word of God for you to go far beyond your comfort zone to forgive and love accordingly. I suppose the question being asked now is what is the actual distance I have to go when it comes to understanding the “as far as it depends on you.”
While the verse of the week is the 18th, take a moment and explore a couple verses later for your answer. Romans 12:20-21 points out to us that if our enemy is hungry, feed him; thirsty give them drink. In doing this you will heap burning coals on his head … do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (paraphrase of the scripture but check it out for yourself.)
I think if we were to be honest with ourselves we would find that not many of us operate in that part of as far as depends on you; rather we search for the as long as it’s easy and comfortable I’ll do it. While we can’t control other people and the things we can do, what we can do is be a reflection of Christ by forgiving and loving folks appropriately. It could be as simple as a genuinely kind text message or E-Mail followed by a sincere prayer for them. Or it could be finding a way to bless that person unexpectedly and even apologizing for your part.
When we do this we find that we are overcoming evil with good and this my friends might be what brings about repentance and reconciliation. Even if your perception is that the other person is at fault. This week our challenge is to live in the “as far as it depends on you” portion of the passage. No expectations of anything in return. Simply walk out the scripture of the week where “it is possible” and let Christ’s love flow through you and soak into your relationships with others. This week choose to live at peace with all (even those who get on your last nerve.)