“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matt. 10:34)

JESUS HAS BEEN CALLED the most divisive person in the world. That seems harsh, yet we know it is true. Although at His birth the angels pronounced peace on earth (Luke 2:14), Jesus himself promised not peace but a sword. We should not be surprised. Life has a way of dividing us into two sharply marked categories. Jesus has a way of forcing us to choose one side or the other.

Jesus commands us to love others, but it is unrealistic to expect that everyone will love us back. As Warren Wiersbe points out, “Once we have identified with Jesus Christ and confessed Him, we are part of a war. We did not start the war; God declared war on Satan (Gen. 3:15).”*

This does not mean we should go through life, looking for a fight. Our challenge is to love everyone whether or not they love us in return. Blessed is the person whose family is also on board with the gospel and joins in serving the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet when that is not the case, we must remain true to Christ and not allow conflict to drag us into an unholy war of words or attitudes. Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt. 5:44).

Be a peacemaker, even if others refuse to be at peace.

Ron McClung serves as assistant general secretary for The Wesleyan Church and lives in Fishers, Indiana, with his wife, Carol. They have two sons, nine grandchildren, and two great-granddaughters.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.

*Warren Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Colorado Springs: Victor, 2001),