“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” – Ephesians 4:2-3
In our current day and age, politics have become especially polarizing and divisive. Social media and constant access to the news cycle have only heightened the existing tension. Differences of opinion quickly turn into heated arguments. The question is how can Christians stay unified in our current cultural climate?
It’s important to remember that unity starts with you and me—each one of us. By our character and actions, we either strengthen or undermine the unity of Christ’s church. Division within our own hearts can contribute to a lack of unity in the church, even when we don’t realize it. Such division leads to nit-picking, where we elevate the unimportant into the important.
Unity in the church can only happen if individuals are seeking God above all else. If you are a follower of Jesus, then you’re called to live your life with a Christ-like spirit and character. You are to walk in a manner worthy of the calling you’ve received from God: “Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.” (Ephesians 4:1).
Each person in the church has a role to play; each one plays a part in determining the extent of unity in the church. We can be a conduit of unity or the cause of a chasm in unity. That does not mean we won’t have disagreements. There’s no such thing as a perfect church, organization, or family for that matter. Problems will arise. Tension will mount. Friction is inevitable. But conflict need not command center stage. Despite our differences, we can move forward with sincerity, humility, and love. We can choose to work and worship in unity for the bond that holds us together in love: “Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” (Colossians 3:14)
If we follow Christ, we have a relationship with God that is bound to be expressed in our relationships with other people. But we often forget that. We can easily create barriers in the name of race, religion, gender, churches, communities, families, friend groups, and more. While these differences can help us think about who we are, our sinful nature distorts them in such a way that we put up walls that divide us. Through Christ’s work on the cross, we are united as His people once and for all. The spirit of unity can spread from one person to another. Unity will, in time, make its way from a few to more and finally everyone. But it starts with each of us.
- What does unity mean? Why is it important to have unity in the home/family? In the church?