If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
— Romans 12:18
The United Nations peacekeeping effort first began in 1948. Since then, UN peacekeepers have participated in 72 missions worldwide, a dozen of which continue today.
As Christians, we are called to be peacekeepers as well. This calling comes in the context of biblical advice on exercising love in action. In Christ we are called to be both genuine and practical in our love. That is done through devotion, humility, generosity, spiritual enthusiasm, empathy, and hospitality.
As the apostle Paul discusses these things, he urges us to “live at peace with everyone.” And he qualifies this by saying, “If it is possible” and “as far as it depends on you.” We need to be realistic about the effects of sin on our relations with others.
The UN peacekeepers’ first mission operation was to maintain the ceasefire during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Forty years later the UN peacekeeping force received the Nobel Peace Prize, and their mission in the Middle East is still operating today.
Realistically, living at peace with everyone at all times may not be possible for us. But we must strive for peace in our relations with others. It’s a lifelong calling that at times may be tough and unglamorous. Yet in our peacekeeping we have a prize to look forward to: God’s peace and favor.
Lord, may we love others as you have loved us—with compassion and care. Give us wisdom to be peacekeepers in our daily relations with others. Amen.