Daily Devotional

Romans 12:18

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

In a perfect world, all would live in peace with each other. It doesn’t take long to be reminded that we do not live in a perfect world. It’s easy to be discouraged by the lack of peace we see on a regular basis. I was recently encouraged by the apostle Paul’s words found here in Romans 12:18. This led me to ask myself, how can I bring peace to the interactions I have with others? So far as it depends on me, I can be an ambassador of peace.

This reminds me of a story I recently shared with the students at Campus. Perhaps you’ve heard this story before as well. The story goes that there is a beach covered with countless starfish. They came in with the tide but as the tide receded, they were left on the shore to die. Someone was observing this sad scene from a distance when a little child came out and started throwing the starfish back into the ocean. The person observing asked the child, “What are you doing? You can’t save them all!” The child held up a starfish and replied, “No, but I can save this one.”

Sometimes we look at how large a problem is and wonder what difference we can make. We might not be able to bring peace to the entire world, but we can bring peace to the world around us. Paul also states that we are to do this “if possible.” He knows that realistically, it’s impossible to live in peace with everyone in this world. There are times when others simply do not want to live in peace with us. It is in these times that our peace-loving attitude is a costly one to have, but an attitude we are still called to maintain. Even then, God’s Word tells us how we should respond, “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God…” (Rom. 12:19).

Even when peace is out of our hands, we can rely on and trust in God. I love Paul’s words in verse 21, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Light drives out darkness, love conquers hate, good overcomes evil, and peace will triumph over strife.
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.