Hebrews Ch 12 verse 14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness, no one will see the Lord.
Sometimes living in peace with others is not always easy, whether it be family members, work colleagues, neighbours, or even some who attend the same Church! We do not necessarily like everyone, some people are just different to us and that is OK, but others are different to us and they just irritate us, just by being who they are.
Each of us is an individual, made in the image of God but distinct from everyone else, and distinct and different are not wrong, each of us is made in God’s image and express different characteristics. I can think of someone now who I just do not ‘click’ with, how they live, how they treat others and their whole demeanour is an irritation to me. They have never directly harmed me in any way, and I get on with them OK, but I tolerate them rather than like them.
Regardless of all this, the challenge of this verse is to lay on one side our irritations and do all that we can to get on with others in a way that is peaceable. This is more than just ‘putting up’ with someone and forcing ourselves to smile, but is about making every effort, trying our best, and maybe about realising that we act in ways that displease God, but he accepts us regardless.
Dear Lord Jesus, before we allow the failings of others to affect our view of them, may we recognise our own failings and the gracious way that you see beyond them and love us regardless.