If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
In this week after Thanksgiving, I am thankful for so many people, opportunities, experiences, life itself and the peace that comes from holding to a belief in God. But I ponder the meaning of peace and what does peace look like for different people, different cultures, different belief systems, different experiences, different economic situations, all of it.
Some people are living in the midst of horror. Bombs fall, the sound of gunfire is constant, hunger edges toward starvation. Other people live in luxury, perhaps earned, perhaps granted through the hard work of parents or grandparents. Some people walk safe streets; others remain alert, ready to dodge random bullets.
What does the word peaceably mean? Synonyms include quietly, amiably, agreeably, diplomatically. The dictionary suggests that word describes someone who avoids controversy. I think of family dynamics. Often there is one who is an agitator, a pot stirrer.
I don’t avoid controversy. I don’t run from a needed confrontation. As a child, I hated raised voices, arguments, tension. As an adult, I literally prayed to learn to stand my ground when right and to speak out against bullying, against misinformation and disinformation. I care about truth.
I have also come to crave peace. For me, peace is often associated with solitude and quiet but not always. I thank God for times of fellowship with loved family and friends.
I haven’t given a lot of thought and not enough prayer to Romans 12:28. The emphasis is on my doing my part as much as possible to live peaceably with all. I think a good place to start is in my own home. I can be quarrelsome, bossy, less than pleasant. So my starting place is going to be with my spouse and best friend.
I am thankful that I have that opportunity this week of Thanksgiving. What about you? Are you trying to live with others peaceably? As much as possible, note that key phrase.