Perhaps it is just me, but it often seems that no matter how relaxing and spiritually refreshing of a weekend I enjoy, the world comes at me full-throttle and hits me in the face like a cold bucket of water on Monday. Whether it is an obnoxious driver or an uptight colleague, there never seems to be a shortage of disgruntled people. Therefore, as we enter into a new work week, let us keep the words of the Apostle Paul in mind. Paul wrote:
“If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”ROMANS 12:18
In his wisdom, which is ultimately God’s wisdom, Paul writes, “If possible,” because he knows there will be people who prefer to be miserable in life and dislike others for no reason. However, he adds, “so far as it depends on you” because he also understands human nature. Our sinful human nature leans towards returning the same ill feelings towards those who are bitter towards us.
Paul understands what it means to be a prisoner. He knows that when we allow ourselves to harbor bitterness in response to the hostility we face from the world, we will, in effect, imprison ourselves. That is why he stresses that so far as it depends on us, be at peace with everyone. How? You might ask. That is a good question, one Jesus answers in Scripture. Jesus said:
“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.“LUKE 6:27-28
Therefore, let us always seek to be at peace with everyone, so far as it depends on us, and let us not share bitterness in return for bitterness; instead, let us extend mercy and grace as our heavenly Father so freely extends to us.
Please note that we have moved our weekly podcast to feature on Friday at noon (EST). Monday and Wednesday will feature a short devotion to kick-start the day, and our more in-depth articles will continue to feature every Tuesday and Thursday.