Romans 12:18, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
“Hurt people hurt people.” The Bible never says that we have to like everybody. Inevitably, some people just annoy us and get under our skin. Maybe they’ve hurt us or betrayed our confidence. Maybe we dislike their actions or have different personalities. But likeability and the ability to love are two very different things.
The Bible says, “Love God, and love others as yourself.” There are no conditional clauses or addendums applied to God’s love for us. Therefore, we must love and attempt to live at peace with everyone. Jesus certainly had a distaste for many of the religious elite’s actions, and He challenged their hypocrisy numerous times. Jesus probably didn’t have warm and fuzzy feelings about the soldiers who mocked and tortured Him to the point of death. However, He loved them enough to die for the forgiveness of their sin … and ours.
So often, those who’ve hurt us aren’t even aware of the full extent of what they’ve done. Often, their offensive behavior isn’t even about us at all, because hurt people, hurt people. For this reason, we must forgive them and move on. Not only will this free us up to live at peace with others, but it will also free us to live out God’s absolute best for our lives.
In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul gives great words of encouragement to the believers in Philippi. Meditate on this passage one phrase at a time to help calm your mind and refocus your thoughts on Jesus when inner or relational peace feels impossible.
Dear Lord, this is not easy. But, thank You for instilling within me Your peace that transcends all understanding. In order to grow more and more like You, I choose to extend forgiveness to all who have hurt me in the past and rely on Your strength to live at peace with everyone to the best of my ability. In Jesus’ name, Amen.