“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” (Romans 12:18)
Living peaceably with all men is a great challenge. Sometimes it becomes impossible, because while we are for peace, another is for war. (Ps. 120:7) Joseph could not do anything right in the eyes of his brothers. “They hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.” (Gen. 37:4)
There are other times though when the fault for fractured relationship lies just as much with us as with another. There is too much aggression still in our spirit. The cause for stumbling is within us. We have not sufficiently learned the way of peace. Our ways are not quite God’s ways. Things could be different, if we were different. “When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” (Prov. 16:7)
When it comes to peacemaking, Paul recognizes both external and internal factors. He realizes that believers “are where they are” at any given moment. They each have more or less of an ability to wage peace.
Wherever we are on the peacemaking spectrum, every believer should be pursuing peace. “Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.” (Psalm 34:14) We should want to increase what lies within us. To this end we must come unto the Prince of Peace and learn of Him. He will not only give us rest in our souls, but He will keep us from being overcome by evil. He will enable us to overcome evil with good. He who is within us is our hope of glory. He is our hope of becoming a skilled peacemaker.