"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." -Matthew 5:9
When I was a child I was always getting into arguments, that often turned physical, with my older sister. I should be more specific: I have three older sisters and one older brother, and I had a terrible case of Youngest Sibling Entitlement. The only one of my parents' large brood that took issue with this was the sister who was closest in age to me. When our arguments turned physical, most often because I slapped or bit, she would pin me down and go to town. She really knew how to use that two-and-a-half-years-older size advantage against me.
Even though I knew she intended to keep throwing punches until I was dead or disabled I didn't worry too much because I knew that our middle sister would save me. It never failed. She would come between us, and help us solve our argument.
Those of you who know my family know that conflict is our bread and butter. We seem to gravitate toward it and feed off of it in an often parasitic way! There were too many tussles in our household to count with five very aggressive and very opinionated little people occupying it! Even with all the practice at having conflicts and somehow resolving each one, I don't think I've ever gotten very good at it. I still am very entitled and often convinced of my own infallibility. But, in my journey to be more like my Savior I have to learn to seek peace.
I'm not alone in my inability to work and play well with others. The disciples of Christ were often irritated with each other and sometimes competitive, not unlike siblings. Jesus told them in John 13:35 "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." When someone looks at your relationships with your brothers and sisters, in Christ that is, do they see that you're a follower of the Risen Lord?
The next time a rift is formed in your Christian relationship ask yourself, "Is it a sin against me?" If it is, then, it's best that you go that person. (See Matt. 18) However, if you're just irritated, and let's be honest, most of the time that's simply the problem, remember what Rom 12:18 says, "If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men."
Now, my sisters, all of them, and I have great friendships, by the way!