Divide and Conquer

Justin Smith


Colossians 3:12-15

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.


I’m not a history buff by any means, but I do know that one of the oldest, yet most effective, strategies in war is “divide and conquer”. The principle behind this strategy is that it is much easier to defeat isolated individuals, as it weakens their ability to defend and attack. What’s even more beneficial is when the situation drives the army to the point of fighting against one another, taking each other’s lives and doing the dirty work themselves. Isn’t it interesting how this strategy of war, used by countless military generals, is one of Satan’s greatest weapons against the Church. Whether it’s by overwhelming Christians who have isolated themselves in their own prisons, or by creating situations of chaos and difficulty, which drives us to attack one another, Satan’s primary weapon against the Church to, “divide and conquer”, seems almost unstoppable. So what’s the answer? How can I/we avoid being the next one to fail and fall?

Colossians 3 holds one antidote to this problem. It begins with me. Am I willing to be a defender of unity? Am I willing to clothe myself with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience? When I am “right” am I willing to surrender my rights? When I am attacked, am I willing to offer grace? When I am “wronged”, am I willing to do what is right? When the ugly monster of pride is advising me on one shoulder, am I willing to ignore its deceit to avoid division? Unity is one of our greatest weapons, and forgiveness is its ammunition.


“But how? It’s just not my nature, it’s just not human nature to die to myself for the sake of others." Verse 15 says, “And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts”. There is no way to live this type of selfless calling out in reality without first letting the peace of Christ rule in my heart. I love the word choice “rule”. Notice, it doesn’t say allow peace to visit your heart, or hang out in your heart, or make suggestions and advise your heart, but rule in your heart. This implies surrendering control, submitting my rights, and succeeding the throne of my heart to the true Savior. This is the key to protecting our unity and honoring God.


Lord Jesus, when the spirit of pride rears its head, when I am attacked, and when challenges come my way please help me to remember this word. May your peace rule in my heart that I might be empowered to live a life of forgiveness, grace, and love. May my life please you today.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Devotions for June 17

1 Kings 20,21
2 Chronicles 17
Colossians 3

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