If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18

Um! That seems like a pretty tall order to me! No way can I live at peace with EVERYONE.

True. In my own strength, I cannot. 

In order for our relationships to thrive, we must learn to give grace. Grace is freely given, unmerited favor and love. God does this perfectly. We (mankind) do not.

We forgive and give grace to others but so often there are strings attached. These strings may not be visible or known to the receiver of our grace but they are in our hearts and minds. These invisible “strings” can hinder the intimacy and transparency in all of our relationships. These strings are often tied on to proverbial baggage from our pasts that we are carrying with us into new relationships.

But! There is good news! God’s word is sharper than any double edged sword. It cuts straight to our hearts and minds. His Word convicts us when we give grace with strings (which isn’t really grace at all). While His word convicts us, it also shows us how to live a life that reflects Jesus. Only through the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of us, will we then have the strength to freely give unmerited favor and love.

The truth is, on this side of heaven, we will not get this right every time. But God will not leave us where we are. He loves us and the people we do life with too much for that. Think about it…He doesn’t want us hurting any of His other children either so…He will, through His word, others, and prayer, teach us how He loves us and teach us how to gracefully love others like He does.

Giving grace to each other truly is a conscious decision to surrender my will to His. His way is sometimes difficult and scary. It doesn’t make sense. But it is ALWAYS better than ours. And He is faithful to show us that truth every time we step out and give unmerited favor and love to each other.

The moments when we pause, seek Him, and give grace, are the blessed moments we see so clearly how perfect the love of Jesus is. When we choose His way, His love and His grace, the people in our lives are encouraged and empowered to be who God made them to be.

I pray that you are equipped and encouraged to live gracefully each day. The perfect love of Jesus Christ gives us the ultimate example to follow as we choose grace instead of anger, judgement, condemnation, retaliation, unforgiveness and bitterness.

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18

~Julie Norman

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