Do Your Part
We live in a time when taking personal responsibility is happening less and less. That means what the Bible says about taking responsibility stands more and more in contrast to our surrounding culture. Let’s look at one example of this.
“Do your part to live at peace with everyone as much as possible.” (Romans 12:18
When I read this verse, I immediately ask, “What’s my part?” The specific answer to this questions varies from one situation and person to the next, so it’s important to continually seek the answer.
Each one of us also has to realize that we are each responsible only for our own efforts. We cannot force anyone to act peaceably toward anyone else. Also, we must face the hard truth that living at peace with everyone isn’t always possible even if it’s always the goal.
The Bible has a lot to say about how to live at peace with others. Many verses offer guiding principles for doing our part in every situation to continually “live at peace” with others.
“Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” (Psalm 34:14)
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Matthew 5:9)
“But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.” (Matthew 5:39-41)
“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14)
“Live in peace with each other.” (1 Thessalonians 5:13)
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15)
Some of these verses give specific instructions for living at peace with others, such as turning from wrong and doing good and not retaliating when someone wrongs us. Others simply restate the command. All of them cement the truth as integral in the lives of Christians.
We simply cannot escape that God wants us to do whatever we can to live at peace with others. That doesn’t mean we compromise convictions and values to keep the peace. We must, however, exhaust our efforts to live in peace with others through personal responsibility and sacrifice.
Only through the transforming power of God as His Holy Spirit works in us is this possible.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)