Living at Peace; Romans 12:18 at Work

Living at Peace At Work

Photo by Richard Lee on Unsplash

Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.


A question we have all asked is “when is enough enough?”


When do I need to/when can I let go of someone? When is it okay to give up?


Or maybe it’s the other side of those question coins…


When should something be addressed? When is it time to start helping that person?


What we are looking for is a measure.  A distance.  We want  guidelines or guidance on doing life with others.  How far should we go?


How do you typically determine when to let go or give up?  And how do you navigate any of that in a work environment?


I was in a moment of “I hope everyone likes me” and “how can I make _______ happy with me.” There had been one particular dynamic in my office that I felt would never get healthy. I felt like I had tried everything to dissolve the tension and issues between myself and a certain person when I stumbled onto Romans 12:18.


“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18


I was trying the “live at peace with everyone” part, but I missed the qualifier, “as far as it depends on you.” I was only supposed to go “as far as it depends on” me. No further. But also, not cutting out sooner.


As I thought back, I could see how in some scenarios I had done all I could, and I truly had to let go. I felt this verse gave me permission. But at the same time, I could picture work dynamics where I had given up. I had stopped trying or avoided them out of fear of confronting an issue. I had not gone as far as I could.


My work life was where I struggled most to apply this concept from Paul’s words. The office can be an odd space where we are obligated to deal with others. Our time at work is connected to our welfare, and hopefully our purpose, our talents, and our passion. It’s a sector of our daily lives that we need in order to pay our bills– unlike family or friendships.


Based on an average life span of 72 years, you will spend 91,250 hours working.  That’s roughly 22.4% of our life, not including overtime.


228,000 hours will be spent sleeping which means you only get an average of 394,000 hours of life awake.


In comparison, we spend…


– 32,100 hours eating

– 4,320 hours exercising and taking care of ourselves

– 3,600 hours laughing

– 42,300 hours of quality time with friends and loved ones


We will spend nearly twice as much time at work than with our spouse, our kids, our loved ones, or friends.


Whatever you “clock-in” to, wherever you arrive for “Monday morning,” you are giving 1/4 of your life.


That’s a lot of time.   And for a large majority of us, those 91,250 hours will require we interact with others.  And while we might not spend all those hours with our co-workers, employees or the consumers of whatever we offer the world, we will spend some quantity of time with them.  Learning what “as far as it depends on me” needs to look like at work can make all the difference in the quality of those hours.

For the full study on living in peace at work, check out coming September 2020.

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Jennifer Mazzola