Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
Matthew 5:9 adds “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.“
Is there someone in your life who insists on hurting you most times he/she sees you? The Bible doesn’t say you have to act like a door mat and just let it keep happening. But the Bible does say that some people are “toxic”: Psalm 58:4 describes these their hurtful acts like poisonous venom “Their venom is like the venom of a snake …”
Having someone like that in your life can mess up your identity, your peace of mind, it can mess up your attitude. It can mess up your friendships. It can mess up your family life, or your marriage… don’t let the hurtful acts these people do to you take away the good that God has placed in your heart.
Part 1. Identifying People Who Are Toxic
People who are “toxic” are going to blame anyone but themselves — including you — for the problems in their lives. They may lash out and say “It’s because of you dad/mom or it’s because of you…” They will call you on the pone and vomit their toxic slander on to you – they spread lies, they are vulgar and viciously criticize others… they love to blame others (or even 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. it’s about them. I repeat… don’t let the hurtful acts these people do to you take away the good that God has placed in your heart.
Part 2. If it’s possible… live at peace with everyone
Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone”. 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 know this yet, but (sadly) it’s not always possible to live at peace. There are some people who, no matter what you do, no matter if you apologize, even if you stay quiet they will hurt you because these people love hurting other people. It doesn’t have anything to do with you. It has to do with their pain and their hurt because those who are at war with others are NOT at peace with themselves.
This is one reason why I love 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 are just not going to get along with. There are some people who, no matter how nice you are to them, are still going to be mean to you, they are still going to spread rumors about you and your family, they are going snicker and smile when something awful happens to you…
God says you need to realize that it’s not about you. Then, you need to move on.
Part 3. As Far As It Depends On You
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. Then think about Jesus Christ who is the very image of God, the very image of LOVE, compassion, sacrifice, understanding… He came to give us the gift of eternal life – yet He was crucified because of our own love for darkness and sin. Finally pray and ask God to help you to let go of this burden.
Life appears to me too short to be spent nursing animosity or registering wrongs… therefore, forgive and live!