Living at Peace

by Dec 30, 2016Easy and Light

Living at Peace

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Romans 12:18 (ESV)

We coined a phrase in our home this holiday season. Anytime one of us was a bit snippy or a little too grumpy, we would say, “Peace on earth!” It became a funny but pointed reminder to rein yourself in and be aware of how you were treating others. Peace is defined as “a state of mutual harmony between people or groups.” With seven people and seven very unique personalities, our family is very rarely in a “state of mutual harmony.” As much as I desire for my children to be kind and sweet with each other, my desire alone cannot cause them to live peacefully with each other. Sometimes even with my best efforts, there is not peace in our home.
Jesus, sometimes our lives and relationships feel chaotic and stressful. In these times, remind us to come to the true source of peace – YOU- and let you fill us with love and acceptance. As we find our peace in You, use us to bring peace to those around us.

The above verse from Romans has been bothering me for a few months. I kept focusing on the second part: Live at peace with everyone, and became continually frustrated. What if peace is impossible? What if you are kind and sweet to that coworker, and they continue to treat you with hostility? What if you are patient and gentle with that relative, and they continue to criticize you? What if you tried your best to resolve a hurt with a friend, but they continue to reject you? Is it possible to live at peace with them?

According to Romans 12, the answer is yes, and also no. We can live at peace with everyone, if it is possible. That implies that sometimes in some situations, it is not possible. Despite our best efforts, we may not achieve “mutual harmony” with some people.   So what can I do? The key lies in the first part of the verse: “as far as it depends on you.” My state of peace depends on me, not on the circumstances and people around me. Here are some things that depend on me: getting up early to spend time with Jesus and focus my heart on the things that matter; remaining calm when my children are fighting; taking a walk when I start to feel angry; praying for that difficult friend or family member. True peace in my own heart is possible! “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…” (Colossians 3:15)

As we begin a new year, let’s make it a priority to first be fully connected to the source of peace, and then allow God to use us to be a source of peace in our families, with our friends, with co-workers and even with strangers.  

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