If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
Romans 12:18 (ESV)
Paul advises us at live peaceably with all people. He says to do it from the perspective of, as far it depends on you. In other words do everything in your power to live at peace with others. Don’t be the cause of dissension. But, how many of us go from relationship to relationship, church to church because of what others say and do or don’t say and do? It’s always someone else’s fault, not mine. We always seem to end up as the innocent victim in all these situations.
Statistically speaking that really isn’t possible. None of us is that innocent. The old saying; “wherever I go there I am”, should be considered if we always find fault with others and not with ourselves. As we move from one situation to another we bring the same baggage with us wherever we go. That baggage is us. If we continue to suffer through bad relationships we have to begin to look at ourselves and ask why. It just simply cannot always be the other people in our lives that are the problem. At the bare minimum it shows a lack of wisdom on our part if we continue to have the same problems everywhere we are in life.
There is always a common denominator in our relationships with others, us. Paul says, “as far as it depends on you”. That means we have to be working on us and how we are relating to others. That is what we are responsible for, us. We are not responsible for how others relate to us or anyone else. If we continue to find trouble wherever we are, its probably us at the root of it. If we want to know how to best fix that we need to turn God’s wisdom for the solution.
“With God are wisdom and might; he has counsel and understanding. Job 12:13 (ESV)
When we turn to His word we will always see that we must look to ourselves first to determine where the problem lies. It is our natural sinful inclination to blame others. It has been that way since the beginning. Adam blamed Eve, and she blamed the serpent. Nothing has changed since then we still try to duck our responsibility of being responsible for our actions.
Jesus died to take care of our sin problem so we could come into relationship with God because we could not fix that relationship on our own. That being said all of our relationships including staying in relationship with God depends on our end of that relationship.
I think the biggest problem we have in relating to God and others is that we are in it for what we can gain from it. That is not what God has called us to do. He has called us to relate to others as Jesus did. Giving our absolute best to others so that they may grow and flourish. If we would just learn to do that, then not one of us would be lacking in any way. All relationships would be rich and fulfilling.
So today we need to ask ourselves, is the problem with us me? We need to ask that honestly and in light of God’s wisdom. If we do that we will probably find that a big part of the problem is actually us. We want to be satisfied by the relationship more than we want the other to be.
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12 (ESV)
Jesus summed it up simply, treat others as you want to be treated. That is so much of what the thrust of the Bible message is.
© 2014 leo J. Woodman