Seeking Peace—Our Role
By Jennifer Slattery
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18
I tend to own things that aren’t mine and conveniently avoid things God has clearly called me to, especially in regard to conflict. Relational tension makes me physically ill. Because of this, when I finally obey, and often after extensive prodding from the Holy Spirit, I might add, I often expect restoration and peace.
Following an unexpected and confusing relational rift, I felt God flood my heart with empathy and a soft yet persistent nudge to initiate dialogue. I obeyed. When the woman proved unreceptive, I determined I’d done my part and could therefore walk away with my conscience clear.
God had other plans. For over a month, whenever I’d pray, He’d stir a genuine love for this woman, calling me to reach out—with the same persistent love He’d shown me.
Until, after the fifth or sixth time, I received a text clearly asking me to back off. It was at this point, and not a minute sooner, that I sensed God saying to me, “Okay. You’ve done all you can. It’s time to release her into My hands.”
Whenever I consider this situation—my role, God’s, and the other woman’s—I’m reminded of today’s verse. Scripture says those who belong to Christ have been given the ministry of reconciliation. This means we should excel at conflict resolution, but that doesn’t mean others will always respond in kind. “If it is possible,” Scripture says, because it isn’t always. “As far as it depends on you,” because it doesn’t always.
In everything, we are only responsible for our part, but that’s something we are responsible for. If we haven’t done everything, as far as it depends on us, than obedience demands we rectify this. But once we have, we can release the results to God and rest in His grace.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer, editor, speaker, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries. She writes for Crosswalk, is a multi-published author of Hometown Healing among other titles who also writes articles, Bible studies, and devotions. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall outings with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit her online at jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com or book her for your next women’s event.
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Originally published Saturday, 14 September 2019.