A minister declared that the LORD delights in His people living in peace with each other. Hence, to maintain a harmonious relationship, strife must be avoided.
"...it's God's will for us to live in peace and harmony with one another, and His Word offers clear instructions on how to get along with people in our daily lives," Joyce Meyer, a minister and author, wrote on Charisma Magazine.
Citing 1 Peter 3:11, she said that peaceful relationships should not only be desired but also pursued.
Though disagreements are inevitable, the minister stressed that this can be done "respectfully."
"But we must avoid strife," she pointed out.
"Strife is one of the greatest threats to healthy relationships; it has the ability to destroy marriages, personal relationships and even churches. Like a seed, strife can get planted through something we say or do, then eventually grow to become a major problem," she warned.
Recalling the Bible's statement about "little foxes" in Song of Solomon 2:15, Meyer cautioned that minor disagreements can ruin a relationship.
To maintain a healthy relationship, the minister shared three "practical tips."
First, keeping a "humble heart."
Meyer said that strife is present in every "contention and strife." Thus the essence of practicing humility.
"We all like to be right-whether it's an argument about a major issue or something trivial. However, humility insists that we give up our 'right to be right,'" she argued.
The minister revealed that she herself experienced "wast[ing] time" by arguing with her husband over irrelevant matters. But she realized that by winning an argument, she actually lost because she was damaging the relationship.
She then challenged the readers to "adopt an attitude of humility" and initiate making peace amidst an argument.
Next, "let love be your guide."
Meyer stated that even during the time of early believers in the New Testament, Paul was already urging people to get rid of arguments.
"Make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind," the apostle wrote in Philippians 2:2.
Moreover, the minister said that "there is power in agreement" and God bestows blessings to people living in unity, as written in Matthew 18:19 and Psalm 133, respectively.
"However, we can't truly agree and walk in unity if there is bitterness, offense or unforgiveness in our hearts," she continued.
She added that a person does not walk in love or unity if he is being nice to others but still harbors negative thoughts and feelings, emphasizing that "what's going on inside is even more important."
She went on to encourage the people to "truly love" others and decide "to stay unified."
Finally, seeking Jesus, who is the "Prince of Peace."
Meyer said that Jesus can change a person "inside out" and along with this transformation are the changes in the way he thinks and acts.
"It is only when we receive His peace and His love that we can truly give it away to others!" she further stated.
The minister felt grateful for the peace of God in her life because He did not only changed her but her relationships as well.
"It is possible to enjoy stable, joyful, fulfilling relationships. And it all begins with a simple decision to pursue peace," Meyer concluded.