“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” – Romans 12:18, NIV
Sally lived in dread of every holiday event. Although she loved her family, there were a few relatives who were troublemakers. One brother carried anger toward his parents and never missed a chance to slip in a barb. A cousin constantly told Sally all of the ways she failed to be a good wife and mother.
For years, Sally carried this pain. She was constantly jumping into the conversation, trying to be the peacemaker. She thought it was her job to make sure everyone else was happy and had a good time. What Sally didn’t realize was that her expectations for the holiday were keeping her from resting in God.
An elderly friend shared the truth of Romans 12:18 with her. “The Bible says as far as it depends on you. That means God wants you to do your part to avoid the arguments and drama. Not that you have the responsibility for stopping everything.”
With family, it can be tempting to take on the role of peacemaker. But while God wants us to be at peace with our families, He understands that some people are ornery. He doesn’t expect you to fix your brother’s issues or solve your cousin’s insecurities.
All you can do is love your family as Jesus does. Maybe that means keeping silent when your brother tries to bait you into an argument. Perhaps that means being kind to your cousin and telling her that you love her decorating style.
Lord, I love my family. But I release them into Your care. You see us with our imperfections and sins, and You love us just the same. Give me wisdom and grace to deal with my family. In Jesus’ name, Amen.