“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18 NIV)
Is there someone in your life who insists on poking you in the eye every time he sees you? The Bible doesn’t say you have to just let it keep happening. It does say that some people are toxic: “Their venom is like the venom of a snake …” (Psalm 58:4 NIV)
Having someone like that in your life can mess up your attitude. It can mess up your friendships. It can mess up your marriage.
People who are toxic are going to blame anyone but themselves — including you — for the problems in their lives. They may love to blame you for their pain, but you have to realize that it’s not about you. It’s about them.
When these chaotic people get around you, it starts to rub off, and you may start thinking, "Am I going crazy? I know they’re crazy, but am I crazy, too?”
No, you’re not crazy. Remember: It’s not about you.
The Bible says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18). Notice the two qualifiers in this verse. First, it says “if” it is possible, not “it is.” Second, it says “as far as it depends on you.”
I don’t know if you’ve learned this yet, but it’s not always possible to live at peace. There are some people who, no matter what you do, are still going to poke you in the eye. It doesn’t have anything to do with you. It has to do with their pain and their hurt.
You know what I love about the Bible? It always tells the truth about God, life, and human behavior. The Bible points out that it’s not always possible to live at peace with everybody. There are some people you just can’t get along with. There are some people who, no matter how nice you are to them, are still going to be mean to you.
God says you need to realize that it’s not about you. Then, you need to move on.
Talk About It
What does "as far as it depends on you" mean? How can you apply this qualifier to a specific struggle you have with someone in your life?
If you struggle, thinking you must be at peace with everyone, even those who poison your life, you may need to take a step of faith toward believing Romans 12:18. Ask God to help you.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.