“Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.”
Today’s verse is not such a straightforward verse to put into practice but essential to understand and as much as possible, live by. Peace with everyone is not necessarily, not arguing or not being in conflict with people. Most assuredly Christians need to do more to fight injustice and stand up for the rights of those marginalised and outcast by society. We need to do more to fight for holiness, politically, socially and even in churches globally. We need to stand against corruption, bullying and war. These are all things Jesus stood against. So what does peace look like? Doesn’t it seem contradictory to stand against the above yet practice peace at the same time?
The essential truth that we need to live by, is not to go looking for trouble but peacefully live to bring Jesus in everything we do. If we are to believe that Jesus is peace in our situations, then standing up for injustice etc, is inviting Him into it. Of course sometimes we need to put our faith into action, but even this can be done peacefully and without conflict. Paul, Peter and the other apostles, all had to stand against injustice. Yet peace, Jesus, was at the core of all they did.
Perhaps closer to home, doing all that you can to live in peace, means not saying something or doing something even when you want to. It is both a huge challenge but also an important spiritual discipline.