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Reflections on Romans 12:18 (Thu)

Sorry about posting this so late–I’m a day behind due to our vacation.

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Today’s passage:*

12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all people. [NET]

I’m really appreciating the practicality of this second-half-of-Romans series. It seems like each verse could be pondered for a solid week and even then the surface would only be scratched.

I am a huge fan of peaceful relationships. I’ve enjoyed them quite often up to this point in my life and I can vouch for what a blessing it is to have them. Maybe I’m especially thankful after just spending a week with 29 of my relatives and we experienced great delight in one another with a noticeable lack of conflict.

Sometimes peace isn’t possible. I’m thankful today’s verse says, “so far as it depends on you.” We’re not held responsible for the attitudes or actions of others, just ourselves. People can be unforgiving, critical, judgmental, and envious — and those are things beyond our control. We can, however, do what we can do. It has been my practice to attempt to be at peace with everyone in my life.

Sometimes it’s an interpersonal peace that’s needed. At those times I have to often apologize, or clarify, or affirm, or appreciate, or create understanding.

Sometimes it’s an internal peace that’s needed. It’s at those times I have to trust the situation to God in hopes that He may eventually change hearts and bring reconciliation. When that doesn’t happen it means I then need to trust God with the friction and rest assured that I have peace with God even if not with the other person. I know that He will reward me in eternity for obeying his commands by doing what I can to live peaceably.

(*For this summer, I’ve divided up Romans 12-16 into daily readings and have committed to daily journaling my reflections about each to correspond with Pastor Bob’s sermon series.)

2 Comments

  1. Martha Troxel

    July 4, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Interesting comments about interpersonal and internal peace.

    • Bob mentioned something I had missed from verse 18 that to be at peace “as far as it depends on you” does not mean “peace at any cost.” We can’t sacrifice truth. Sometimes our convictions will cause others to be “at odds” with us. We must love these people in spite of that and do our part to live peaceably as much as possible.

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