As a little girl, I got away with hiding those detested peas in my napkin. When excused from the table, I would take the napkin with me and flush those peas down the toilet! As the youngest of four, my poor Mother was none the wiser. Thankfully I got over my distaste as peas are such a great healthy food! To give peace a chance however, is a much more important idea! John Lennon of the Beatles popularized this phrase with his first solo single hit released in 1969, “Give Peace a Chance.”
Today’s verse encourages the believer to live at peace with everyone. Paul includes some qualifying conditions; if it is possible and as far as it depends on you. Sometimes peace just is not possible if both parties are not willing to work at it. But there is plenty that can depend on our own responses. Being able to live peacefully with those intent on provoking us seems nearly impossible. But when we remind ourselves that God is just and He will repay and avenge (verse 19) then we can at least find that peace of mind for ourselves.
I wish I could say that all my relationships are always peaceful. But even the best of them occasionally go through turbulent times. However, I know when I am making things worse. And the first step in making peace usually starts with a humble apology for the part I played in the drama. That first step requires me to put aside my pride. That is the part that depends on me. I can then trust the Lord to work through the rest.
Help me Lord, to do all I can to live peaceably.