About Jesus     Steve Sweetman

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Keeping Peace With Everyone

 

Paul, in Romans 12:18 says, ďif it is at all possible, as far as it depends on you, live at  peace with everyoneĒ.   Now this is interesting coming from the lips of a man who had many enemies.  Iím sure Paul would have preferred a life of peace and friendship, but he realized that wasnít always possible, thatís why he says ďif it is at all possibleĒ. 

 

Still Paul says ďas far as it depends on usĒ we should  strive for peace.  In short, we are to do our best to preserve peace with everyone, knowing itís not always possible.

 

Why wasnít Paul at peace with everyone, and why are Christians today not always at peace with everyone?  Well, in Paulís case, it was the truth of the gospel he preached that caused the disruption of peace.  For Christians today, a good chunk of the reason for the lack of peace we experience is due to the way we treat others.  Our lack of peace with others isnít always because of the offense of the truth of the gospel.     

 

Some of us can be just as nasty towards others as we claim others are towards us.  For example, some Christians havenít always acted very kindly towards those in the gay and pro abortion community.  This unkindness isnít doing our best at striving for peace with these people.  If these people prefer not to be kind to us, which is often the case, thatís their choice.  We are to choose to be kind to them know matter how unkind they are to us.   And, hopefully this unkindness we experience is due to the offense of Scripture and not the way we treat them.

 

This being said, we do not compromise the truth of Scripture to preserve peace.  Paul was a peace loving man but not at the expense of truth.  Study his second letter to the Corinthians and youíll see that His love for Jesus and for people was the motivating factor in his life.  He wanted so much to be at peace with others, especially his brothers in Christ. O Iím sure that some of Paulís mannerisms irritated some people, but for the most part it was the truth of Scripture that brought the separation between Paul and others.  This should be the same with us. Some of our mannerisms may irritate people as well but the real separation should come over the truth of Scripture.

 

Itís similar to what I wrote a couple of weeks ago when I said we are to love people, but not at the expense of  justice.  In like fashion we are also to do our best at keeping the peace with everyone without compromising the truth.  Let the truth of Scripture that we preach and hopefully live disrupt the peace and not any carnality that we exhibit to others.    

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