5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
In one Peanuts cartoon Lucy says to Charlie Brown, “I hate everything. I hate everybody. I hate the whole wide world!”
Charlie says, “But I thought you had inner peace.”
Lucy replies, “I do have inner peace. But I still have outer obnoxiousness.”
Paul admonished us in Romans 12:18 “ If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” The “”If it is possible” suggests that sometimes it may be difficult. And yet, the Hebrew writer reminds us that in spite of how we are treated “the Lord is my helper.”
It’s not too hard to like people that are like us. But its not always easy to like everybody. Sometimes we bring things on ourselves by our own “outer obnoxiousness.” Just as other people seem to be hard to get along with in our opinion, we may also seem to be hard to get along with in their opinion.
In Romans 15:7 Paul says, “Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.” The word translated “accept” means to see another person and to open your arms to take that person to yourself.
We are to accept each other as Christ accepted us. How did he accept us? He loved us in spite of our sin and welcomed us when we did not deserve to be welcomed. This is a high standard. Only Christ can give us strength to accept others this way. But as we do our best to be considerate of others in Jesus name and in His strength we bring glory to God.
Dr. Gayle Woods