If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. – Romans 12:18
Unless we choose to cut ourselves off from all humanity, we must interact with other people. Our families call for our attention. Our friends desire visits. We also deal with people we don’t even know. A stranger pumps our gas or bags our groceries. Sometimes we even have to interact with our enemies.
Whenever we relate with people, the possibility of strife exists. A misspoken word or a hasty comment can lead to argument. Sometimes a difference of opinion can lead to war, where thousands lose their lives.
In the above verse, God calls us to live peaceably with everyone. Not just some, but everyone. Not just our family. Not just our friends. We are to live peaceably with the man we meet on the street. With those who speak against us. Even with those who proclaim themselves as our enemies.
We must strive to do this with all that lies within us. Often we give half-hearted attempts at living peaceably with others. We may do okay for a while, but when the other person “crosses the line,” out come the clenched fists or angry words. We give way to our weak flesh. But if we’re Christians, we have the Spirit of God within us. And by His Spirit we can live peaceably with all everyone.
Notice that Paul also says, “… if it is possible.” Some may say, “There’s no way out of this. I can’t possibly live peaceably with this particular person.” However, in Philippians 4:13, Paul said, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Whose strength are we relying on? Through Christ’s strength, we can live peaceably with everyone.
Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9).