S11P9 – The action of love: relentlessly peaceful

Romans 12:18
If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Some might view this verse as a command to try our best because of the implied promise that peace is not possible with everyone. But this verse is not a command to only try; it is a command to always do. Yes, we will try to make peace with people who do not reciprocate. However, we must understand that this does not mean we stop trying at the first sight of failure or even the hundredth sight of failure. We are to do what depends on us, and that is to continue to behave peacefully with everyone regardless of our level of success in actually making peace.

It can be tempting to justify ourselves when following God’s commands becomes difficult. If I have tried for years to have peace with my neighbor, and my neighbor has shot me down each time, I might think I’ve done enough to bring peace to that situation. I might decide that it is time to wash my hands of this and stop wasting my efforts. I’ll go make peace with someone else. The flaw in this kind of reasoning is that we cannot know what this process of making peace will look like in every situation. Perhaps treating someone peacefully only once will create peace between you. Other times, it very well could take years of peaceful behavior to create peace with someone. This is why our peaceful efforts must continue even when it seems like a waste.

We must do whatever is within our control to live peacefully with everyone. Just because this is not always possible, it does not mean that we stop living in a peaceful manner with all. Perhaps we would have a greater desire to strive for peace with everyone if we considered the satisfaction and joy that would result from achieving peace with our greatest opponents. Father, fill us with relentless peacefulness so that in every interaction people feel the peace of Christ that we carry and, in turn, are drawn to you.