The Weekly Word - A Devotion for the Week of August 31
"Live in harmony with each other. Don't be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don't think you know it all! Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone." (Romans 12:16-18)
We are living in a tumultuous time, with social and political discord escalating in the media, in our communities and even among our own friends, neighbors and family members. Emotions are running high, compelling many of us to vocalize our opinions with the goal of convincing others that our views are right.
Paul, however, reminds us that as Christians, we are called to pursue peace and harmony above all else. “Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone,” Paul urged his fellow Romans. It’s a tall order, even in the best of times.
Let’s be honest: it’s not easy to live harmoniously with those with whom we disagree. When we feel maligned or misunderstood, our instinct is often to lash out in anger. We want the last word, and we want others to acknowledge that we are right.
But Paul has a very particular call to action for each one us. We are to do everything in our power to live in peace, not just with those who already agree with us or who are easy to love, but with everyone.
In other words, we are to put people rather than our own views and opinions first.
Gracious God, You more than anyone know how difficult it is for me to bite my tongue. Give me the strength to love even those with whom I disagree. Help me sow peace and harmony rather than discord and unrest. Amen.