‘If…possible…live at peace with everyone.’ Romans 12:18 NIV
‘Live at peace with everyone’ is overwhelmingly general when it’s taken out of context. However, Paul gives us a lot more advice on how to live that instruction out if we go back to Romans 12. He writes: ‘Do not repay anyone evil with 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 makes it less about the world being lovely in general, and more about our responses and reactions to circumstance’s and with people. He seems to define living ‘at peace’ as having everything to do with how we respond to actions committed against us. We can choose 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 can excuse our own if we’re putting them to right. Romans 12 shows us that we are called to live to godly standards even when those around us don’t. We’re told ‘not to be overcome by evil, but [to] overcome evil with good’, hate with love and grace. (Romans 12:21 NIV). And that is the major key to spreading peace. Even when we’re faced with wrong, we can still forgive and live right.
The world looks to your peace, you’re an ambassador of the kingdom and you carry the peace of the Lord within you.
Think of the last person who annoyed or did any wrong to you. Pray that God will bless them and speak over their lives that the love, peace and mercy of the Lord shall reign in the inside of them.