In honor of all the vacations and day trips many of us will take this summer, I thought I’d take us all on a road trip of my own. A road trip down my own Memory Lane of verses that God has used in my life. Don’t get me wrong – all Scripture is valuable and useful. But, this week I want to share a few verses that are special to me. I’ll tell you why they’re special, what God taught me, and how they’ve changed my life.
Relationships. We all have them. Close ones, surface ones, broken ones, difficult ones, and loving ones. But, there’s a common thread in all of them.
All of us face it from time to time, and if handled improperly it can lead to the demise of healthy community. That’s why today’s verse is so special to me. It’s practical wisdom is gold.
Romans 12:18 “If it is possible as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
We live in an “if, then” society.
If she won’t talk to me, then I won’t talk to her.
If he won’t help me, then I won’t help him.
If they hurt me, then I’ll hurt them.
Don’t think we’re quite that bad? Take a closer look at your life and the lives of those around you. If your spouse has ever hurt you in some minor way and you’ve retaliated with the silent treatment, you’ve played the “if/then” game. If you’ve ever been the target of gossip and you responded by “venting” to your close friends, then you’ve joined the club. If you’ve only shown kindness to someone else after they’ve helped you in some way, you might even hold an office in the club. 🙂
God is clear in Scripture that He created us to be in relationship with Him AND others. Getting along with people, making peace, extending grace to others…..all are big in His book. But, we don’t always get along, do we? Personalities clash. Intentions are misunderstood. Sometimes, people are just vindictive. But, God is concerned with our response. He desires that we apologize, forgive, and show compassion. Even turn the other cheek. Yes, that’s right, He wants us to be nice even when it hurts.
Because He is. We hurt, betray, disappoint, and ignore God. Often. Yet, He continues to offer forgiveness and grace. He loves us even when we’re unlovable, and He expects us to love others when they are unlovable. We could get into a long discussion about how to treat others in an abusive situation, but that’s not what I’m talking about today. My focus is simple, everyday life.
God showed me the importance of this command early in my walk with Him, and it has been the springboard I’ve used to forgive intended and unintended hurts and to be the first to extend the hand of peace.
Are you doing everything you can to live at peace with those around you? Give it a shot. You just might find life is better when you do things God’s way.