Romans 12:18 – Be At Peace With All Men

Romans 12:18 – If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.

I have heard people use this verse as justification for not being at peace with all men.  Ironic, I know.  I don’t think that this verse is telling us that we should try to be at peace, but when you just can’t take it anymore, let there be conflict.

I think that as Christians, we should work hard to have peace with each other, our neighbors and even those who are our enemies.  Let conflict exist and strife continue only on account of the other party – but never because of us.  I think that’s what Paul is saying here – as much as it depends on us, lets be at peace with all men – but if that peace doesn’t come – may it not be because we did not do everything we could to work towards it.

We should be people marked by peace, kindness, gentleness and humility.  May we not give the world a reason to point towards our lives or the church as an excuse to not be a part of it because of our lack of love, peace or unwillingness to reconcile.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by sean on October 26, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    I think Dietrich Bonhoeffer explains the sort of peace we are called to:

    The followers of Jesus have been called to peace. When he called them they found their peace, for he is their peace. But now they are told that they must not only have peace but make it. And to that end they renounce all violence and tumult. In the cause of Christ nothing is to be gained by such methods. His kingdom is one of peace, and the mutual greeting of his flock is a greeting of peace. His disciples keep the peace by choosing to endure suffering themselves rather than inflict it on others. They maintain fellowship where others would break it off. They renounce self-assertion, and quietly suffer in the face of hatred and wrong. In so doing they overcome evil with good, and establish the peace of God in the midst of a world of war and hate. But nowhere will that peace be more manifest than where they meet the wicked in peace and are ready to suffer at their hands. The peacemakers will carry the cross with their Lord, for it was on the cross that peace was made. Now that they are partners in Christ’s work of reconciliation, they are called the sons of God as he is the Son of God.
    (The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, pg 65.)

    Reply

  2. Christianity involves suffering. Sometimes working to make peace involves suffering. We shouldn’t feel that this is out of place – it’s following in his steps.

    Reply

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