…as far as it depends on you, live at peace (shalom) with everyone.
So then, make it your top priority to live a life of peace (shalom) with harmony in your relationships, eagerly seeking to strengthen and encourage one another.
In the book “Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin”, Christian author Cornelius Plantinga described the biblical concept of shalom. He wrote:
“The webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight is what the Hebrew prophets call shalom. We call it peace but it means far more than mere peace of mind or a cease-fire between enemies. In the Bible, shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness and delight – a rich state of affairs in which natural needs are satisfied and natural gifts fruitfully employed, a state of affairs that inspires joyful wonder as its Creator and Savior opens doors and welcomes the creatures in whom he delights. Shalom, in other words, is the way things ought to be.”
How often do we put our needs to be right ahead of loving people? Have you ever had a political discussion? Have you ever been cut-off in traffic? What about that person at work who just rubs you the wrong way or doesn’t perform a task the way you feel it should be done? I know my inclination is to respond in situations like these in a way I feel would best empower me by “proving” I am right. But God asks something else of us. He asks us to carry shalom into our daily circumstances. This means not just how can I benefit, it means how can I conduct myself so all involved will benefit. This is living at peace with everyone. This “is the way things ought to be”, living to lift up and encourage others. This is shalom.