Blessed are the Peacemakers
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Mt. 5:9
There are divisions that are unavoidable. Did not our Lord himself say, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword," and "I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law" (Mt. 10:34-35)? However, the division spoken of in those verses is not division which emanates from the people of God in a hostile attitude toward those who differ from us - rather it emanates from the hearts of people who do not share our love for Christ and his word. Nevertheless, surely one implication of our Lord's words in Matthew 10 is that the command to be a peacemaker does not mean making peace with sin and error, and it does not mean going along to get along when that would mean moral compromise.
So our Lord's call to be a peacemaker is not a justification for avoiding all conflict. However, it does mean that the attitude that we bring into potential conflict is not that of a dog looking for a leg to chew on. Rather, we are to be people whose primary desire is peace, even with those who differ from us. And when we have to confront sin and evil, we don't do from a position of pride and harshness, but we do it as the apostle Paul commands: "But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth" (2 Tim. 2:23-25). And are not the apostle James' words here very apropo: "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure then peaceable, gentle and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace" (Jam. 3:17-18).
Such people will be "called the children of God." Why? Because this is what God does: he makes peace with us through Christ when we were his enemies : "For he [Christ] is our peace . . .having abolished in his flesh the enmity . . . and that he might reconcile both [Jew and Gentile] unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby; and came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh" (Eph. 2:14-17). Let us therefore be like our Lord and be peacemakers, and find the blessing promised in the obedience.