This verse is very specific in two points. The first relates to our responsibility in potentially volatile interactions. We are the only person that can control our own emotions, and what rests on us here in this verse is the obligation and charge to live at peace with others. The other point is that we can’t pick and chose who we live at peace with, for it states here we are to live peaceable with all human beings to the very best of our ability.
Paul writes to the Church in Corinth about orderly worship. He stresses to them that everything be done in a fitting and harmonious way. (I Corinthians 14:40) When we see disunity within the Body, we know this is not of God…for He is the God of peace. (Romans 15:33) As Believers, we need to be seeking balance and mutual agreement…not causing turmoil and commotion just to make a point. Many a Church has faced divided factions only to self-destruct rather than build bridges of unity. And Satan smiles every time a Church self-implodes rather than attempts to reconcile the Body.
In this contentious and ever argumentative world, it’s difficult to seek peace in every situation. But the key here is found in a verse in Hebrews 12:14, ” Make every effort to live in peace with all men and be holy.” Being holy means we live in a spiritual atmosphere where grace and mercy abounds despite the hostile environment around us. It’s where we consider others before ourselves and strive to be a peacemaker not a rabble-rouser.