Romans 12:16-18 (NKJV)

Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

I've noticed, in my church, that there are people of all stations of life who go there. There are both rich and poor, talented and untalented, smart and not so smart, those who lead and those who follow. It makes sense that people would divide along these lines and certainly there are attractions among commonalities people have with each other. But the fascinating thing is to see the love, fellowship and communion that crosses these dividing lines. It is a wonderful thing to see the president of a bank working alongside the truck driver, in a ministry activity, laughing with each other and encouraging each other. In the body of Christ, there is a common bond of love that supernaturally crosses these boundaries. I've noticed it on short-term mission trips too, this instant love and fellowship with a Christian in another country not even able to speak the same language.

On another note, this verse contains an important principle for living in an ungodly, contentious world. There will be disagreements and strife and contentions that seem to threaten your ability to maintain a Christian witness. Sometimes, situations will seem impossible to resolve and end peaceably. I have been in such situations and have been at wit's end trying to come up with a Christ honoring, agreeable solution. This verse really helped me through such times. It says "as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men." That made me realize that although I am responsible to do my part as far as I can, I can't control the other person. Also, I found that before coming to the conclusion that I had done my part to be peaceable, that I had to ask God to examine the motives of my heart to see if they were pure. I pray the following verse, and it seems God always answers this one right away for me.

Psalm 139:23-24 (NKJV)

Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties;and see if there is any wicked way in me,and lead me in the way everlasting.


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