Everyone? Really? Seriously?

For the past two days this Bible verse has been stuck in my brain:

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live in peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18

Um, does He really mean everyone?  And what exactly am I to infer from the phrase, “as far as it depends on me….” I mean, come on, there are times when I’m able to easily justify my contentious attitude and actions…..at least I can, in my own mind.  Also this “if possible…” is causing some discomfort as well.  I mean, nearly everything is possible, right?  At least that’s what we tell our kids….  So what’s the Holy Spirit trying to teach me here?

I once had someone tell me that I was the sweetest person they’ve ever known.  I was flattered, and then I laughed out loud because I know who I am deep down inside; and sweet isn’t how I’d describe me most of the time.  Cordial.  Polite.  Thoughtful.  Trusting.  Shy and quiet come to mind; but not sweet.  When I think of someone who’s ‘sweet’ I think of a person who is always thinking of other people’s needs before their own, and then acting on that in order to make other people’s lives better.  A sweet person is someone who always has a kind word to say, who is always supportive, who is always loving and gentle in speaking and manner.    A sweet person is someone who always seems to focus on the positive in a person and completely misses those negative actions, attitudes, and behaviors.  A sweetie is someone who is able to “live at peace with everyone,” all of the time.  So far, I don’t really see any of those qualities in myself – at least not consistently.

As I sit here and really think about this verse, it makes me want to be a sweetie though.  I feel compelled to think first and react second, not the other way around.  I want to focus on the best in people and not those nasty little nigging personality flaws that we all have.  I want to make every effort to be warm and welcoming and approachable.  I mean, after all, if people can’t feel comfortable talking to me, how am I ever going to be able to share the love of Christ with them?  I want to be a do-er of the word and not just a hearer – I might be the only Jesus some people see, and he definitely knew how to live in peace with others.

This seems like a simple little verse at first glance, but as I’ve chewed it over in my mind for the past two days I realize there’s a whole lotta meat in there.  So here’s how I’m going to be applying it to my life:

“If it is possible”

***** With God, all things are possible!  (Matthew 19:26 and Mark 10:27)

“As far as it depends on you”

***** Pray like it all depends on God and work like it all depends on you! (1 Corinthians 9:22)

“Live at peace with everyone”

***** This is most pleasing to God and will produce a life of blessings! (Psalm 133:1, Proverbs 16:7, 2 Corinthians 13:11, Ephesians 4:3, Galatians 5:22-23)

What about you?  Will you make every effort possible in order to live in peace with those around you…even those who just don’t seem overly peaceable?


1 Comment


One response to “Everyone? Really? Seriously?

  1. WOW!!!!!! Great analysis… I’m printing it and hanging it on my mirror… An excellent reminder for me, too!

    Have a fabulous weekend! What’s the weather like in your neighborhood? Snow is FINALLY melting here… I think I’m finally getting over my bout with “Seasonal Affective Disorder…” Winter makes me a crabby *!@$% and this winter was especially disordered…! Why did I move back north???


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