If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. This is the words of Paul in Romans 12:18.
Sometimes it feels that it isn’t possible doesn’t it?
It feels impossible. If it says, “IF possible”, that to me is saying that it can also be impossible.
Before you begin getting mad at me, be at peace and let me finish.
I have learned this the hard way, that the next part of the verse it critical to my understanding of possible.
“As it depends on you”.
It is up to me, the possible it up to me, to live at peace.
There are times (and I have experienced them) that we try to make peace happen with someone, and it doesn’t seem like there is peace in the relationship. Why? Because relationships are hard, messy and very risky. And sometimes there are seasons and friendships come to an end of the season, or the break is too wide to mend.
Sometimes reconciliation looks like a separation, or a ‘break in the relationship’.
But, in the midst of this, you can be at peace.
How? How is it possible to “be at peace” when it looks like there is no peace?
Being a Pastor and a ministry leader, I have learned this the hard way. I thought to be at peace meant I had to jump through hoops to make the other person like me.
Almost like I was (or did) try with all my strength to get them to approve me, approval meant peace. Or to get them to like me, as if that would give me peace. I was in a constant state of rejection because of this. It was killing me, and those around me because I was never really at peace. Within myself or with anyone.
So I started to really look at the verse, and focused on the next words; as far as it depends on me.
A new revelation began to take shape.
I can be at peace with someone, even if they are mad at me, or there is a break in relationship. As much as it depends on me, I can be at peace. How? because my peace comes from God. Our peace comes directly from God, and that depends on me.
The word peace in the Strong’s Concordance is the word Shalom and NAS Extensive Concordance means: completeness, soundness, welfare, ease, peace. In the Concise Etymological Dictionary of the English Language the word peace is described as a pact.
If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at ease, at soundness, live in completeness with everyone.
I can be complete only because my wort, value, approval and identity come from God. I don’t have to chase people and force relationship or force peace to happen.
I have learned that when I am at peace, “complete in Him”, He brings peace to the relationship.
There will be people who have no idea they hurt you, or even care that they hurt you, but you can live in a place of peace, because of the One who is your peace.
It is possible to do the impossible and live at peace with everyone, because my peace doesn’t rely on them.
Jesus tells us in John 14:27 “My peace I give to you”. He is telling us that He gives us our completeness, our soundness, our ease, our peace. He give us this pact – that He becomes our peace. In one of my situations, talking and reconciling is not possible, but I am at peace. I know that my peace comes from God and I can extend that peace into the situation, not of my strength, but by depending on the One who is my peace.
“As far as it depends on you”, you can be at peace. The impossible is now possible.