Thanks so much to each of you for being so gracious about my blogging mishap yesterday. Consequently, I’m a little off schedule, but I’m hoping to get my weekly gratitude post on the docket for Thursday (rather than on my customary Monday). I appreciate your patience and understanding as I get back on track!
At any rate, I wanted to share this verse with you from Romans 12 – it one of my life verses. Why? Well, because it reminds me that we should strive to be at peace with everyone, but only as far as it depends on us. Put another way, it may not be possible to be at peace with everyone, even though we may desire to do so.
In my view, this is where wisdom and discernment enter into the equation. I really believe it’s possible to be at peace with someone, but not be in regular communication with him or her. It is possible to love people from a distance, but still be at peace!
Sometimes, I think we misunderstand what peace is all about. Jesus modeled it well for us, but if you think about how He lived his life here on Earth, He didn’t go around agreeing with everybody! Quite the opposite, actually.
A definition here may be helpful. As some of you who regularly follow this blog may know, I frequently consult my dictionary to help give me insight, and here is one of the definitions that I found for “peace”:
A state of tranquility or quiet.
There are other definitions, of course, but this one stands out the most to me. So, when I think of being at peace with others, I focus on the calmness of heart and mind that can only be provided by the Holy Spirit. If I find myself in the presence of another person and this sense of spiritual peace is compromised or thwarted in some way, then – in my own life experience – I need to take some time away from the situation and recalibrate. After all, if I feel disquieted within myself, how can I possibly enjoy peace and harmony with others around me?
For me, true peace comes from recognizing that there are some people and situations I am wiser to avoid, and so I go the opposite way. Consequently, there are movies I don’t watch, television programs I don’t expose myself to, music that I steer clear of, magazines and books I don’t read, and yes – people around whom I limit my time and exposure. Indeed, I have found that when I spend too much time exploring these distractions, I lose my joy.
Instead, I choose to pursue things that bring peace into my life and help to keep it there. It doesn’t mean that life is always easy, but that I now better understand that I am responsible for making wise choices about the things, people, and circumstances I allow to influence me.
So remember that you can be at peace, but rest in the knowledge that you are also responsible for doing your part, too (“so far as it depends on you”).💡