This is the final verse in our Mummy Meditations on Peace, and I think it’s a verse we’ve all enjoyed meditating on over in the Mummy Meditations community. If you haven’t already seen it, Rachel wrote an amazing post about peace last week. Once you’ve read my post, head over to hers to catch up!
This week, our verse is taken from Romans 12:18, and asks us to try to live at peace with everyone: If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Peace with everyone? Really?
In his letter to the Romans, Paul gives some amazing advice for life, advice that I think it incredibly relevant now, even if it was written nearly 2000 years ago. In fact, just earlier in the chapter is one of my favourite verses in 12:2 – Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. He also talks about the church being one made up of lots of different people, each having different gifts. He asks us to live at harmony with one another, and to be devoted to one another in love. In fact, it gives a pretty perfect idea of what the church should be like.
So, as Christians, we should be people of peace. Yet it is impossible to live at peace with everyone, surely? What about the people who hurt you and it’s so hard to forgive? What about the people who deliberately go out of their way to antagonise or even threaten you? What about people who hurt those you love?
Actually, the answer is found in the earlier part of this verse: If it is possible and as far as it depends on you.
Personally, I find this very freeing. Peace with other people is a two-way thing. Here, Paul is acknowledging that sometimes, peace is impossible. We can do everything we can to bring peace to a situation, and there is still conflict. Well, that’s fine. That’s the way it is. We do not need to feel any shame, guilt or condemnation there.
We do still have a responsibility to seek peace. Where there is conflict, we should try our absolute hardest to bring peace. This comes back to love: it is how we show love to one another. It how other people see love in action.
There will be conflict
Another aspect that this verse brought to mind is that there will be conflict in our lives. There will be disagreements in our relationships. There will be clashes and arguments. On a wider scale, there will be corruption, inequality, wars. We should do everything we can to promote peace, but after that? It’s in God’s hands.
This is the final verse in January, and our final verse on Peace. Next month, we’re looking at Patience, and we’re changing things a bit. We’ll still have a weekly verse, but we’ll also have a character from the Bible whose story can teach us about patience.
Rachel will be thinking about Hannah, and focusing on this verse: This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. 1 Samuel 1:7.
We would love it if you joined us in the Mummy Meditations community. If you head over to Rachel’s blog and sign up for her mailing list, she’ll send you the link.