Romans 12:9-21
Do all that you can
to live in peace with
everyone (v.18).

A benefit of being a teacher, I know that
Thanksgiving vacation is always an anticipated
respite from the routine of waking early, grading
papers, and planning lessons. What I hadn’t planned for
was the impending disagreements that would arise from
our two children being home in close quarters with extra
time. No matter how much I tried to reason with them,
they couldn’t seem to agree on anything. They were
focused on each other’s faults, while denying their own.
A glutton for punishment, I grounded them from media
for several days. Much to my delight, the arguments
waned and they suddenly remembered that they actually
liked each other.

As living sacrifices—set apart, transformed—believers
in Jesus are to become living, breathing reflections
of God’s will (Romans 12:1-2). In the quietness of our
devotional time with the Lord, this goal stirs our hearts. In
the day-to-day of relationships, however, it can seem to
be downright impossible.
As I deal with my children, I often hear the Lord
speaking to me about my relationships with others. It
takes two to fight (Proverbs 20:3). You can’t choose
how others act, but you can choose how you respond
(Matthew 5:38-39). Be kind, whether it’s deserved or not
(Proverbs 31:26). Like my children, I can either trust the
wisdom of the One who knows far more than I do or I
can rely on my own perspectives (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Godly love doesn’t come by finding perfect relationships; it comes when I
first choose to deal with my own faults (Romans 12:9). Relational peace is not
avoidance. It’s a decision to act on the things for which I am responsible, while
placing the things I cannot change in the hands of Jesus. I must trust a God for
whom nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37; Mark 9:23). —Regina Franklin

Turn away from evil
and do good. Search
for peace, and work
to maintain it
(Psalm 34:14).

Is there a relational conflict you’ve been
trying to control through your own actions or
words? What can you do “as much as
possible” to improve the situation? What aspects
of this conflict need to be surrendered to Jesus?

Visit www.ourdailyjourney.com