As followers of Jesus, we are commanded – as far as it depends on us – to be at peace with everyone within our circle of influence. Paul spells this out pretty clearly in the book of Romans:
There are two important disclaimers here – “if possible” and “as far as it depends on you”. Sadly, it’s not always possible for peace to prevail in all our relationships. However, I have learned that it is possible for me to be at peace with another person, even if that other person insists on being at odds with me. The dynamic certainly isn’t comfortable, but it is possible; accordingly, I am learning to let go and and leave matters like these in God’s capable hands.
In situations like these, all I can really do is forgive the other person (or ask for forgiveness, if appropriate) and try to move on.
As I mentioned in a post from a couple of months ago, sometimes people simply don’t like you – even if you haven’t done anything to them. As someone who struggles with approval issues, I tend to get ensnared by these relationships, but I believe that this verse gives me the release that I need in order to move on from them.
One of the pastors at my church summarized this life principle well: “Fear no one, and love everyone.” As Christians, that is our mandate. If it is possible – and as far as it depends on us – we should show goodwill to all.
Dear Lord, thank You for this challenging directive from the Bible. We are meant to be peacemakers in this world, and as far as it depends on us, we should strive to show goodwill to all people. As You know, this is not always possible, but we trust that You will show us what to say and do when we find ourselves caught up in particularly challenging relationships. To that end, we trust You to take the lead and work out the circumstances out for our good and Your glory, even though managing these relationships can be very difficult for us at times. In Your name I pray, Amen.