Remember the operable phrase: “As far as it depends on you!”

When dealing with difficult people, have you ever recognized your limits?  Of course you have if you have children, or if you work with people or go to church with people.  Some people, for whatever reason, will not admit that you are right, and they will not live at peace with you.  Sounds like they have a problem, doesn’t it?

That’s why Paul says in Romans 12, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (v. 8).

You cannot force others to do what is right.  If you have done everything you can to resolve your differences — including “leaving your gift on the altar and going to be reconciled to your brother face to face” as Jesus says to try and do —  you have fulfilled your responsibility.  If you’ve gone and tried and humbled yourself and been vulnerable and transparent, well, that’s all you can do.

Sure, you can remain open to reconciliation at that point.  You should.  But you may stop actively trying to solve the problem.  In fact, if you keep pushing to make things right and don’t wait on God, you run the risk of taking God out of the picture.

If you’ve done all you can, sometimes you just have to wait on the Lord and quit being so anxious to make peace. Sometimes, sadly, we have to live with that tension.

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