I have read this verse over and over. Sometimes the smallest words could make the biggest impact. Omitting it could have drastic effects. Making sure to read it breaks chains. Referring to my verse, it was the word if.
Before I share the most liberating verse of my year, let me define the word if. If is used to introduce a conditional clause. It means despite the possibility that or no matter whether. It is used to imply reservation while expressing surprise or regret.
The small word, if, is in the most liberating verse of my year:
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Romans 12:8
This verse liberated me to know in relationships I can have peace about them without having peace in them.
No matter where you are in life, there will be times where you will have strained relationships. Close friends will become distant. Family members will have fall outs. Death unto us part ends up being today with no death but divorce. Relationships hurt. You can’t live with them and you can’t live without them.
Lack of peace about any relationship will ultimately rob you of your joy. Peace is possible.
Yet, what happens when reconciliation never happens? You try but it fails? The other party never picks up the phone, responds to emails, or refuses to be followed on social media.
That is the reason the Bible says if.
If possible. . .
Sometimes it will not be possible. They will not want to work it out. They will not want to talk. They will not want the pathway to the peace you desire.
Contentment comes from peace with God, peace with myself, and peace with others. Peace with others sometimes abides in the if possible – the knowing it is just not going to be possible.
Yet, we can not ignore the other part of the verse: so far as it depends on you. What part of broken relationship depends on you? This verse leads us to take 100% responsibility. It all falls on us.
In any and all relationships, we must take the high road. We must lead in a Godly way though maybe what was done in the relationship was devilish. We must take the path to do what is right.
Exploring empathy regarding the relationship or broken relationship leads to great peace. Empathy is feeling what the other person feel. It is what we all can do. It is the first aid for a bad relationship and opens a dialogue which leads to a healthy relationship.
Empathy is not sympathy. Sympathy is acknowledging what the other person feels. Empathy is feeling what the other person feels. Band-aids don’t fix bullet holes. Continuing to see it from your side won’t help either.
What past relationship have you had anxiety about because you could not bring it to peace? What past relationship could you have peace today because you realize it was just not possible? What part of the past relationship could you accept responsibility? It is possible their behavior had a logical explanation or a logical explaination to them?
Broken relationships are a beast. I know. Let’s Connect. I would love to pray for you and pray for peace in your relationship.