Today is the final day of 31 days of paying attention.
Thanks for hanging with me this October.
Before I write about today’s topic, here’s a great verse
that sums up paying attention well:
Honor his holy name with Hallelujahs,
you who seek God.
Live a happy life!
Keep your eyes open for God,
watch for his works;
be alert for signs of his presence.
Psalm 105: 3,4
I doubt I will stop paying attention anytime soon.
Other than the book launch post, there was only one other post
I knew I would write during these 31 days.
Funny how it ended up being the very last one.
Perhaps because it has been the most difficult to write and live.
Here is one of my heart verses:
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
Romans 12: 18
This verse has always resonated in the heart that God has given me.
It is also a verse that is tested in my life as well.
This past year, God gave me a litmus test of sorts.
“Really Helen, you love this verse?
But do you live it?”
To live at the center of this verse you can’t forget it is sandwiched between
There’s 16 as well.
Oh there’s also the finale of Romans 12, found in verse 21.
But really my friends, if we want to live at peace with others as far as it depends
on us, it all boils down to living out Romans 12: 1.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy,
to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—
this is your spiritual act of worship.
Our bodies, not just the outsides but our minds, our heart and our tongues.
People will hurt your feelings.
Friends may abandon and reject you…for no reason or even silly and vague ones.
Friends may choose not to stand with you when life gets hard.
Friends can simply say it’s too difficult to be your friend.
Friendships can be sticky and messy and make your head spin.
I have been in all of those places.
It is devastating.
It can take years to heal.
It can take longer to trust again.
What I have learned is that no matter who is at fault,
peace depends on me.
Peace comes from my side.
I can only control myself.
I mentioned the litmus tests that I have walked through over this last year.
One was forced upon me.
I didn’t want to walk in those shoes again.
I had no need because it was the past.
I had moved on.
God whispered that it was not in the past and there was no peace
if I was determined to thrust my hand against this one who had
called it quits.
Peace was not evident at least from my end.
I donned my boots.
Peace invaded my heart in a new way.
It was a better way than clenched fists and blocked
For another, I wrote a note.
We don’t have to be friends but my prayers
and thoughts remain.
Sometimes we have to be brave and walk three
quarters across the bridge.
We need to hand others a map to find
the path marked peace because they are lost in their own actions,
incapable of knowing which way points to the signpost declaring
they can return.
In view of God’s mercy to me,
I can extend peace.
I must spread peace.
I can sacrifice my desire to be right.
My need for a grandiose apology or an exacting
penance from another.
It seems ridiculous to devise punishments,
but I know otherwise.
Offering peace doesn’t mean that you are BFF’s again.
It means that as long as it depends on you, stemming from your part
of the friend equation, you gift peace.
Over a dozen years ago, I went for prayer to an elder
one Sunday morning.
I shared about a difficult situation and I needed wisdom
to know how to proceed.
Church is no place to feel awkward with another.
Romans 12: 18 had been ringing through my head.
I knew there was no peace.
I knew when I saw this person, my heart would race.
I knew that my thoughts towards this one were not
full of blessings.
My words were critical and prayers were my last inclination.
Ironically, this person wasn’t my friend. It was a friend of a friend
who had been wrong.
My loyalty had brought disunion in my spirit.
That is a litmus test right there to know whether or not there is peace in
- How do you physically feel when you see this person?
- Does your stomach tighten?
- Does your body tense?
- What words spring from your mouth when you speak of them?
- If their name comes up in conversations, are your feelings full of
delight or disdain?
- When they cross your mind, do you pray for them or rehearse
the wrong they have done?
I will never forget what my elder said to me.
He told me he would pray for me, which he did.
He also said that he didn’t know exactly what I should do
but what he did know was that God is always about
Oh, He is.
He has reconciled us to Himself.
He desires that we be reconciled with one another.
He is the Prince of Peace and if we are called by His name,
we are to be people who dole out peace to one another.
It doesn’t negate the wrong.
It opens the door and allows God to work, to heal and
to re-establish relationships.
If you need a road map to walking in peace, spend time
reading Romans 12.
Read it daily.
Let God tenderly show you where peace is needed
in your relationships.
Learn to cling to the good.
Let him instruct you in how to live at harmony with others.
We were designed to give peace to others not
be the ones who block its entrance.
As far as it depends on you,
bring peace to your relationships.
Weave peace into your life web.
Catch someone off guard by drawing them towards
you with the hug of peace instead of eating them.
And with that, the last post of 31 days of paying attention,
is also the longest!
Peace be with you friends!
I thank you in advance for all the peace those who are
in relationship with me have sent flying my way.
Ever so thankful!