Do Your Part

“Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible.”

Romans 12:18

Let’s face it, relationships are tough.  It can be difficult to form healthy bonds with people.  And it can be even more difficult to maintain those bonds – be it in a marriage, a friendship, or a family.  Seems like in today’s society some people’s cell phone batteries last longer than their relationships do.

The Bible is very clear that we who follow Jesus Christ have a responsibility to make every effort to get along with others.  Even in the Old Testament God proclaimed, “Never seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone, but love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18).  Then He added, “I am the Lord.  You must obey all my laws.”  That certainly drives the point home!

When Jesus walked the earth relationships were every bit as important as they are today.   And they were also every bit as difficult.  Christ knew what it was like to experience relationships that were out of sync.  The religious leaders hated him, even accusing him of getting His power from Satan (Matthew 12:24).  And John 7:5 tells us that “even his own brothers didn’t believe in him.”    

But what the Bible teaches regarding strained relationships is what fascinates me the most.  So many times when others hurt us, we tell ourselves that we will forgive them if they would apologize to us.  And because forgiveness is a spiritual matter, that makes us sound spiritual.  That is until we study Scripture.  God’s Word places the responsibility for reconciliation upon believers.  In Matthew 5 Jesus taught that if we are at the altar worshiping God and remember that someone has something against us; we are to immediately cease our worship and go reconcile with that individual (verse 24).  That’s pretty much to the point, if I may say so.  In Romans 12:18 the apostle Paul adds more by telling us, “Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible.”

Obviously the Bible makes it clear that the obligation to make every effort to live in peace with others falls squarely on our shoulders.  Clearly Jesus Christ came to put our relationship right with the Father.  But we have been given the mandate to make every attempt to put our relationships right with one another.