Read: Romans 12:9-21
Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone (Romans 12:18).

A benefit of being a teacher, I know that Thanksgiving vacation is always an anticipated respite from the routine of waking early, grading papers, and planning lessons.

What I hadn’t planned for was the impending disagreements that would arise from our two children being home in close quarters with extra time. No matter how much I tried to reason with them, they couldn’t seem to agree on anything. They were focused on each other’s faults, while denying their own. A glutton for punishment, I grounded them from media for several days. Much to my delight, the arguments waned and they suddenly remembered that they actually liked each other.

As living sacrifices—set apart, transformed—believers in Jesus are to become living, breathing reflections of God’s will (Romans 12:1-2). In the quietness of our devotional time with the Lord, this goal stirs our hearts. In the day-to-day of relationships, however, it can seem to be downright impossible.

As I deal with my children, I often hear the Lord speaking to me about my relationships with others. It takes two to fight (Proverbs 20:3). You can’t choose how others act, but you can choose how you respond (Matthew 5:38-39). Be kind, whether it’s deserved or not (Proverbs 31:26). Like my children, I can either trust the wisdom of the One who knows far more than I do or I can rely on my own perspectives (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Godly love doesn’t come by finding perfect relationships; it comes when I first choose to deal with my own faults (Romans 12:9). Relational peace is not avoidance. It’s a decision to act on the things for which I am responsible, while placing the things I cannot change in the hands of Jesus. I must trust a God for whom nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37; Mark 9:23).

Taken from “Our Daily Journey”