“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” Romans [12:18]
A football coach once told his team, “Line up alphabetically by height.” He also said, “Pair up in groups of three.” Then he told them to, “Line up in a circle.” Once they were in order he told the incoming class, “We are going to do something special this year. We are going to turn this team around 360 degrees!”
Sometimes we say silly things. And it’s not beyond us to have actions that are less-than-we-intend. Sometimes the silly things we say and the things we never intend to do, harm other people.
In his letter to the Romans, Paul makes the statement, “…so far as it depends on you.” This means that followers of Jesus are called to take great effort to be makers of peace.
It’s easy to read this and start to think in terms of nations, countries, and people groups that we don’t know. It is far more challenging to think about those closest to us.
So, let’s make this personal.
Husbands: You should do everything within your power to keep a home of peace with your wife.
Wives: Paul urges you to live peaceable with your husband.
Children: Your goal should not include the need to be “right” in your conversations with your parents. Instead, you should seek peace with them.
This week we heard how Paul was a cultivator of peace not only in his relationships but also with Philemon and Onesimus. We can follow that same example, striving to be a peacemaker.
Lord, I can’t control the rest of the world, but I can strive to control my words and actions toward others. Grant me the power, through the Holy Spirit, to be a person who cultivates and maintains peace. Amen.