“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
I can be a real grump. Not intentionally, but I find there is a limit to my patience and tolerance for certain shenanigans. There are times that I feel hard pressed to get along whether because of dealing with a difficult person, or navigating my own insecurities. Either way, it triggers a lack of empathy and perspective. I can become inwardly focused and tone deaf to the needs of the people around me. To further complicate things, my mom is from the south and I am also Latina, so on the outside I will look calm and composed and say something like “Bless your heart” but on the inside I am ready to take off my earrings and throw down. It’s a challenging thing to balance.
As a daughter of God Most High however, I am called to do whatever is in my power to live at peace with everyone. Everyone? Surely, that is not what the Lord means! I mean, some people can be downright impossible at times!
I don’t believe I am alone in this. As humans, we all bump up against our own selfishness and have to buffer it with the grace and humility that Christ calls us to. There are a million different scenarios that can be tough and they’re not always directly related to conflict. Being in new or uncomfortable social settings, feeling insecure, being nervous about a test or presentation, all of these can get us thinking inwardly.
Jesus literally endured the impossible because he knew who he was, where he came from and where he was going. We have that same benefit. We are God’s beloved daughters. He has redeemed our past and set us on a new path with Him, headed toward a beautiful future where conflict and heartache are no more. Our past, present and future are secure in His hands, therefore we are secure.
In this truth, I am freed to look at things through the eyes of Christ. The verse says to live at peace, as far as it depends on you. I may not always have the right words to resolve a conflict, or know how to be still when I’m feeling insecure, but I know how to point to Jesus.
I can ask myself, “How can I show the love of Jesus in this situation?” That IS within my control, that IS in my power, and through the Holy Spirit, I can model Jesus’ love in any situation. Because of who I am in Christ, success is redefined. It no longer matters if I’m perfect, only if my actions point to the One who is. And suddenly, the peace that passes understanding washes over me because I’m back on mission, doing what Jesus would do.
We can remind ourselves who we are, and then ask, “How can I show the love of Christ here?” Maybe that looks like comforting someone else who is nervous too, or letting the joy of the Lord shine through as you speak. Perhaps it is staying silent when you are angry, until you can speak in love instead.
While we cannot control other people, how we handle conflict can open the door for God to change hearts and lives. We can continue to walk forward with a clear conscience that we did what was in our power; having the confidence that prayer and the grace of God will cover the rest.
In whatever situation you find yourself, may you step out boldly in faith, assured of who you are as a daughter of the King, and ready to show the love of Jesus.