“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” Romans 12:18
To start off I would like to state that to truly appreciate this verse and the truth it proclaims one needs to look at the context surrounding it, which talks about loving one another and abhorring evil. Therefore, I highly recommend that you spend some time in Romans 12:9-21- it’s an incredibly encouraging passage.
However, this verse in particular is one that has been on my heart and mind the past few days. I have noticed people in various parts of my life that are at odds with someone; it is quite saddening to see people harbor bitterness and resentment towards another person. I’m sure I do not have to tell you dear friend that to harbor bitterness and resentment affects the person who is holding on to it the most. This bitterness colors how we view others, affects our ability to serve our fellow Christians, and brings difficulty to our being able share the gospel with those who desperately need to hear it. This passage calls us to be at peace with one another as much as depends upon us, because it is a key element of the Christian life. However, this element involves honesty and grace. Being honest about your issues with someone in a way that is full of grace is vulnerable, frightening, humbling, and frankly hard.
However, we are still called to be at peace with one another. I think it is easy for us to stay divided from people in our lives, because we begin to view them as an enemy of sorts. This is a lie; your enemy is not your neighbor. Scripture speaks to this truth in Ephesians 6:12 which states “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Spiritual warfare is real, and we are fighting against the sin that is in our lives and the lives of others. We are not fighting each other, so I plead with you to humbly be at peace with one another through the strength and grace that can only come from the Holy Spirit.
If someone popped into your mind as you were reading this, I encourage you to seek how you can find reconciliation with that person through prayer, scripture, and the wisdom of people who will give you gospel-centered advice. I would like to pray for you if you are seeking reconciliation with your neighbor, so please feel free to private message me.