Divide and Conquer
There is little doubt that one of Satan’s tactics, in his effort to “kill and destroy” (John10:10), is to divide and conquer. He knows that if he can get Christians to “bite and devour one another” (Galatians 5:15) that he will not only win the parties involved, but will also turn others away from Christ.
Satan doesn’t care whether the division among Christians arises from personal disputes, cultural differences, or doctrinal issues. He’s willing to use any and all avenues of driving wedges and splintering the body of Christ, one congregation at a time.
Knowing this to be one of Satan’s devices should motivate Christians to foil his plan by being determined to “be of one mind’ (2 Corinthians 13:11). Of course, in order to do this we must have “compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous” (1 Peter 3:8).
Diverse personality traits will sometimes provoke disputes among brethren. When that happens we need to remember that we are commanded to “pursue peace with all men” (Hebrews 12:14). That means work at it! Otherwise, it is bound to result in bitterness, which will “cause trouble, and by this many become defiled” (Hebrews 12:15).
The handling of doctrinal differences is another area in which we need to work hard in order to maintain, if at all possible, peace among our brethren. There is no doubt that we must be willing to “contend earnestly for the faith” (Jude 3), but we can do that without being contentious. Our defense of the truth must be accompanied by a sincere desire to “keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).