I believe that it is important for God’s people to be at peace with one another. But what is peace? Sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking that peace is the mere absence of conflict. However, peace is much more than that. I believe that true peace must involve the sharing of the same vision and values.
The Apostle Paul saw a lot of conflict while establishing churches all over Greece and Asia Minor. Sometimes the conflict was caused by false teachers posing as believers who were trying to spread heresy among new converts to Christianity. But other times it was conflict between two people who were devout believers. He addresses one such case in his letter to the Phillipians:
“I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.” (Phillipians 4:2-3 NIV)
Notice here that Paul does not simply tell Euodia and Syntyche to stop arguing with each other. Rather, he begs them to go much further than that; he tells them to “be of the same mind.” He wants them to not only stop working against each other, but working with each other to accomplish God’s will. I believe that this should be our goal when resolving fights between true believers. We should encourage them to not only stop bickering with each other, but to actively seek ways to build each other up as brothers and sisters in the Lord.
How can this be accomplished? Only by focusing their attention on the one thing that unites all true Christians: the gospel message. We must help our brothers and sisters realize how much damage they are doing to the cause of Christ by making an enemy of another true believer who has been purchased by the blood of Christ.