Living in PeacePosted by: bbcadmin
When I was in college, there was a sign on the inside of the door of my dorm room with a list of helpful suggestions for college life. One of those sayings was, “In life, you will have to learn to get along with people, and this room is a good place to start.” I must confess that I didn’t always reach that goal as a student. Even today, it is easier said than done.
It is a challenge to get along with people, Christian or not. At home, at church, or at work, most of us experience friction to one degree or another. The apostle Paul told the believers in Rome to make every effort to eliminate the friction between them. He said, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18). That is a noble goal, but how can we achieve it?
Some would place the blame elsewhere: their spouse, their children, their parents, their boss, or the insufferable neighbor. If those people would just change their ways and behave themselves, we could all live in peace. However, Scripture tells us that the problem comes from within our hearts, not so much from difficult people or circumstances.
In his letter to the Colossians, Paul challenges Christians to model their character and lifestyle after the Lord Jesus Christ. This involves removing from my life all that displeases God and putting godliness in its place. Paul’s list includes compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, forgiveness, and love (Colossians 3:12-14). Notice that it all has to do with my attitude toward others. Notice, too, that this describes the spirit of our Savior. Paul says that if I interact with others with a Christ-like spirit, there will be peace among all parties (3:15). It’s not about changing others; it’s about changing me.
If you long to “live peaceably,” ask God to give you the strength and grace to change. Ask him to help you practice radical repentance to remove all that dishonors your Father and that offends your brother/sister (Matthew 5:29-30). Soon you will be able to say with the psalmist, “How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity” (Psalm 133:1)!