As I continue through this passage in Romans 12, relating to the transformed life, I find today’s directive interesting in light of the current world situation. (The COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020).
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.*
Is it only me, or have you noticed that everyone’s a bit stressed these days?
Stress makes us do weird things.
- We panic and buy extra toilet paper.
- We snap at a grocery clerk.
- We rush around doing errands, hurrying to get back to our isolation.
- We develop ill-feelings towards others for no good reason.
- We don’t eat or sleep well.
It really doesn’t seem possible right now to live at peace with everyone, because everyone is acting crazy! Then I’m reminded:
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.*
So, I go back to Paul’s word of exhortation and try again.
What’s the goal? To live at peace with everyone.
Is it impossible? Only in that it’s hard to do it with everyone.
So, how can we manage it?
By doing our part of the task: As far as it depends on you.
I can’t control everyone else’s feelings and actions, even on a good day, and especially not when our communities are under such stress and pressure, but I can control mine.
Why? Because I’ve got the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ living in me, and that’s not to be taken lightly. I can’t just shrug off my poor reactions to stress or a bad day. If I am living in the Spirit — living the transformed life — he’s going to give me the strength to make the impossible possible — at least as it depends on me.
I will live at peace with everyone, because the Prince of Peace gives me the power to display his peace, even in a wildly unpredictable time.
Will others act peaceably in response? Maybe, maybe not, but that’s not my concern. My concern is my part.
What seems impossible to you right now? Seek power from the God of possibilities.
Grace and Peace
*Romans 12:18 (NIV)