“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18 (NIV)
The goal for every believer in the workplace, the community, or home should be to live in harmony with others. Harmonious relationships are less stressful and more productive to whatever the end that partnership should produce. Harmony doesn’t require one to abandon their identity or yield themselves over to another as a doormat, but it does allow us to see things from the other’s perspective, without judgment.
In this verse, Paul says “If it is possible” because it is not always possible to be in harmony with all people. For instance, light cannot be in harmony with darkness. A victim cannot be in harmony with their attacker. A person is going to find it difficult to be in harmony with someone who is completely opposed to them.
I think the point of the verse is that we ought to maintain harmony with others if we have some common ground and we are working toward the same purpose. The best way I know how to illustrate this is to consider a workplace environment. We may not agree with everything a co-worker stands for, but we can find harmony in cooperating toward the employment task we’ve been assigned.
If we nurture criticism or dwell on conflict without regard for harmony, the negativity which that will foster will soon crumble that working relationship and end any benefit it could have brought about.
Being in harmony with others is focusing on the goal we hold together, not personality differences or mismatched beliefs or idiosyncrasies that our outside of the basis for the relationship.