“…Do not be wise in your own opinion…If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” Romans 12:16b, 18
While living in Fort Worth many years ago, my pastor, gray-haired and possessing a white goatee that lent itself to a look of ancient wisdom, was in the habit of shaking his head when struck with something profound or with a weighty matter and saying, “My, my, my…” in his thick Welsh accent. I always felt like that short repetition said it all, and to the scripture above I say, shaking my head, “My, my, my…” This is profound and weighty.
Recently, I allowed myself to become frustrated with and offended by an acquaintance, and we had a disagreement. The issue came down to a lack of proper communication, and in the end, though my instinct was to defend myself, I found that the Holy Spirit (per His piercing conviction) was much more concerned with: What kind of testimony did I demonstrate in my frustration and offense?
Christ never said to defend yourself when faced with friction or adversity, but to love humbly—so much so that if the one who opposes you required that you walk a mile with them…you would walk two (Matthew 5). This is not popular in a generation constantly asking itself, “What about me?”
In my situation, I am now humbled with the task of reconciliation, which would not be necessary if I had heeded Romans 12. Today, as much as possible “live peaceably” with those around you and love them humbly.