In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus speaks of peacemakers (Matt. 5:9)—the passage almost sounds as if they are a special breed with unique abilities. Some people do have a way about them that brings peace wherever they go. All of us, however, can become peacemakers because, according to 1 Corinthians 7:15, “God has called us to peace.”
Unfortunately, though, success in this area oftentimes eludes us, and the reason is that we quit too soon. With certain people, it is necessary that we go the extra mile and not only seek peace but also pursue it (Ps. 34:14). Such a pursuit can be very costly at times, but apparently God expects some pretty heroic attempts in this area, because He tells us to “pursue peace with all men” (Heb. 12:14).
In addition to this, Romans 12:18 instructs us, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” Sometimes we try too hard to analyze the words “so far as it depends on you.” We can get bogged down trying to figure out whether we should take the initiative to be reconciled to someone or wait for the other person to approach us.
Jesus made it clear that unity within the church is a top priority. It doesn’t really matter whether we have offended others or they have offended us—in either case, we should take the initiative to be reconciled with our brothers. Even if a brother will not listen, we can still “pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another” (Rom. 14:19).