Strength For Today

A journey of keeping my heart, mind, and body in TODAY

Love Journey: Live at Peace

on March 1, 2014

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

The use of the phrase “live at peace” in this verse strikes something in my heart.  I am not sure exactly what it is, yet I can feel that the use of the word “at” instead of “in”, in this particular verse, has purpose.

This study on love has lent itself nicely to a parallel word study as well.  Looking at different words and their meanings has opened my eyes to some words that I never paid attention to before.  Take the words “at” and “in”.  I would not have ever considered looking these two prepositions up in the dictionary for their meanings.  As it is, here is what I found.

IN:

1. used to indicate location or position within something

2. used to indicate that someone or something belongs to or is included as part of something

AT:

1. used to indicate the place where someone or something is

2. used to indicate the person or thing toward which an action, motion, or feeling is directed or aimed

3. used to indicate something that is being tried or attempted

Based on the various definitions, I am gathering an understanding that the word “in” represents a  passive role in something, while the word “at” appears to indicate a more active role.

I find myself at this conclusion based upon definition  2 of in (used to indicate that someone or something belongs to or is included as part of something) and definition 3 of at (used to indicate something that is being tried or attempted).

In this light, I look at this verse as instructing us to take an active role in living at peace  (a state of concord or tranquility) in our relationships.  When I looked up concord, here is what I found:  a state in which people or things agree with each other and exist together in a peaceful way.

Typically when we think of the phrase “at peace”, we think of an inner peace, a peace of mind, so to speak.  So, in looking at this verse, and thinking about the active role of “at”, AND thinking about the concept of inner peace…. here is my reflection on Romans 12:18 – unpacked:

Love is:

Intentionally choosing to exist  in a state of peace within ourselves and within our relationships regardless of what is happening around us.  It takes me to Philippians 4:7, where it talks about the “peace that surpasses all understanding”.  This peace is not a peace that can come from any other place other than from Christ Himself.  When I am actively choosing Christ, I am also actively choosing to exist in a state of peace….  or to “live at peace with everyone.”

When I look at the first part of this verse:  “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you…”

As far as it depends on me.  This speaks to me of a recovery principle I have learned over the past few years:  I am responsible for my side of the street.  I cannot own or control others’ reactions or choices.  I can only change me.

So, As far as it depends on me, I will intentionally choose to live at peace with everyone.

REFLECT:

Are you intentionally choosing to live at peace with yourselves and others?

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