I like the word effort in this scripture because it is a realistic assessment of what it takes to stay united and connected within the Body of Christ. In the best of times, that unity is a fragile thing that should be handled very carefully. One word out of place can disturb the peace that defines a group of people. One simple and seemingly insignificant misunderstanding can unravel a carefully constructed unity.
The apostle Peter wrote in his letter to the churches to underscore this reality:
We all can tell stories of how a rumor or misinformation tore a beautiful family apart with dire consequences for all involved. Peter cautioned his readers to search for peace, implying that at times it may be missing. Put in the work it takes to maintain peace.
Why is that important? Peter reminds us that the Lord watches over His people and that He listens to the prayers of those who do right. The Lord does not receive those who do evil. What does the Lord consider to be evil, then?
In the Book of Wisdom, Proverbs, the writer listed what God hates as a cautionary reminder to his readers: