Lord, I Need Peace With People
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18
Live at peace with everyone.
I have always considered myself a friendly person. I am the friend who texts when I haven’t seen you in a while and sets up meals when someone is in need. I do all that I can to be loyal and try to never be hurtful to those that I care about. At first glance, living at peace with everyone seems an easy task. Yet, as I reflect on my personal journey with people, I am confronted with the betrayals, heartaches, and even rejections that have brought more hurt than I could imagine. I have asked myself; how can I live at peace with the friend who talked poorly about me when I wasn’t around? How can I be at peace with a family member who only talks to me when they need something? How can I be at peace with a person who treats those I love with disdain?
It is with great intention and a choice to forgive that helped me overcome these personal battles. However, living at peace is more than just being cordial when encountering the person you are irritable with. It took time and praying for those who hurt me to move forward from the pain experienced. When I took a moment to study the Greek word for “peace” found in Romans 12:18, I learned this word means to cultivate harmony. To cultivate means to intentionally prepare and develop. In other words, living at peace requires not just kind words or fake smiles but action that can purposely create a harmonious atmosphere for all. As easy as it may sound, this can be the hardest thing to do when our heart is truly broken. I can imagine that, even Jesus, could relate to the pain of not being treated as he deserved. He was rejected as He healed the crowd, betrayed by His friend, and even put to death by His own people. Yet, in His dying breath, His words remind us of what it looks like to love beyond the pain.
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34
My prayer today is that we would learn to forgive, when it's not easy and do all that we can to create atmospheres of peace. Perhaps the intentional phone call, the invite to coffee, or the text message to say, “I’m sorry” will open the door to a new start. Although your efforts won’t always be seen or received, we can rest well knowing that we did all that was possible to reconcile with one another and walk in love. When we do so, we free ourselves from the burden of bitterness and can be an example to others who may be struggling as well.
Thank you for being a loving and forgiving God. I thank you for your example of how to live and walk in peace and forgiveness. I look forward to opportunities to live at peace with everyone. Although the world may teach me to hold a grudge, I choose to follow your way instead. Lord, search my heart and show me any person that I may have negative feelings towards. I ask for wisdom on how to cultivate peace and walk free from bitterness. Give me a heart for those that I don’t understand and help me to always walk in your love. Help me to do my part in living at peace with everyone. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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* Excerpts from the above article originally written by Victoria Riollano on ibelieve.com*
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