Shalom as a Lifestyle Rabbi Michael Weiner
I’ve been doing this a long time, so when I tell you this is a strange week of writing, believe me. I like to have a theme for the week, or write in a series, but this week, I am writing mostly random thoughts. Today’s thought is from Romans 12 (again), but this time from verse 18.
Romans 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live in shalom with all people.
Sounds simple, right? Live in shalom with all people. Got it. But wait, let me ask Paul (who wrote the book of Romans) a question. Have you met “all (those) people?” Personally, I have trouble living in shalom just with the other drivers on the road to the grocery store. This is why I’m thinking of using a delivery service from now on.
It’s tempting to contemplate the hermit lifestyle. After all, what’s the point of living in Tennessee if you can’t live on Rocky Top, happy and alone? (Notice I left out fat and silly.) However; all of this rambling misses the point. Contrary to many modern theologians, the objective of salvation is not to get us (individually) into heaven. The objective of salvation is to change the world so that the love of God resonates in every sphere of life.
You and I have a calling to be a blessing (Yeshua’s ambassadors) to everyone around us, even those evil drivers who cut us off in traffic. The kingdom of God turns everything in the world upside down. The keys to victory are not found in the mantra “serenity now.” The victory is found in the full understanding of “Shalom.”
Shalom is not the absence of conflict. Shalom is being complete in the Lord. We are whole and satisfied in Him. We, the people of God, have no lack of anything. Three Scriptures come to mind.
Psalm 23:1b Adonai is my shepherd, I shall not want (lack anything).
Psalm 34:11 Fear Adonai, His kedoshim, For those who fear Him lack nothing. Young lions may lack, and go hungry, but those who seek Adonai want for no good thing.
2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and virtue.
This goes beyond the Tennessee “good ole boy – wouldn’t hurt a fly – Mr. Nice Guy.” This is the fruit of a relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, together with His Son, Yeshua (and by extension, the Holy Spirit). We love God and love each other. Sounds like the perfect picture of the cross, and it is. Now go and live in Shalom, my friends.