Next, we discover that our actions include an unintimidated peacemaking. I love the sound of that. Look at verse 18. “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” I love that. We are to attempt to have peace with everyone, not just those who are easy to get along with, but everyone. Yes, that means your annoying boss and your frustrating neighbor. Seek to live at peace with everyone.
I want you to notice the thrust of this verse. It is not simply a command to be at peace with all men, because this command is qualified by very specific language. There are two phrases that qualify it: The first is “if possible.” Meaning that it is possible that you will never find peace with some people. All of us know that some people deliberately set themselves against you as your enemy. No matter how charming and “easy-going” you are, they will not like you. Every time you try to make an effort for peace . . . nothing changes. They have made a decision that they are against you, and there is nothing that can change it. So, the command is that if it is possible, we need to make the effort.
The second phrase is “as far as it depends on you.” This is where we are commanded to not let the fault lie with us. In other words, if there is something that we can do about the turmoil, we need to take action. This is what I mean when I say we are to have an unintimidated peacemaking. The reason I say it that way, is because our peacemaking should be free from the influence of other people, even the people we are trying to make peace with. It should be an unintimidated effort on our part, made because we are disciples of Christ and seeking to be his ambassador.
If interested, you can download the entire study of The Letter to Christians at Rome