Peace: What’s Possible and What Depends on Me?

January 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

800px-Iraqi_boys_giving_peace_sign“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

Peacekeeping has its limits. Paul’s admonition in Romans 12:18 recognizes that sometimes living at peace with our neighbors is not possible, and that if efforts toward peace are possible, they still often can only be taken to a certain extent.

It’s impossible to live in peace with someone who has absolutely no interest in living in peace with you. A soldier in battle or the victim of a personal attack is not morally expected to work out a peaceful agreement in that situation.

Where you can work out some peaceful accord, you can only go “as far as it depends on you.” Our control is dependent also on how far the other party is willing to go to reconcile. Even within some peace, it has its limits.

Despite the limitations on the moral expectations, I think we often overestimate the barriers and underestimate our own responsibility to working towards peace. The “irreconcilable differences” card is easy to play when a relationship becomes challenging. We give up too easy.

Are you honest about what is “possible” in terms of peacekeeping and peacemaking?

Have you underestimated what “depends on you” in the relationship?

If you have a hard time determining what is possible and how far to go, remember what God did to make peace with sinners. He did the only thing possible and gave His perfect Son Jesus to bridge the gap between us and Him. And Jesus did all that depended on Him to make a way for us. I want this to be my example for setting aside my own ideas of feasibility in living at peace with everyone.

Peace, neighbors.

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