10 Jun Three Truths About Biblical Unity
Of all the things I’ve had to learn to do, keeping my mouth shut has been the hardest. Can you identify with that? Maybe it’s because at every turn, another opportunity presents itself to share my opinion.
Log on to Facebook or Twitter, and someone is blasting their thoughts on everything from food and entertainment to social issues, education and even the clothes we wear. And everything, no matter how it is intended, has become politicized in our deeply divided nation.
Taken as a whole, the tenor of scripture is that believers are to be about the business of promoting unity, even in a world like ours. But how? How do you promote unity and love others? And can you do it while still standing up for what you believe in?
These days, I am asking God for clarity on how to be more loving, more of a peacemaker and not a sounding brass or clanging symbol. He is answering those prayers by working something new in me, though I still have much to learn about when to keep my big, fat yapper closed. I’d say the lessons so far have revolved around three themes:
- He is God, and I am not. He does not need me to fight for Him, but to just be in the center of His perfect will, a vessel to be used when He wants, not when I want. God needs me to listen to Him. There is value in keeping my thoughts between myself and Him in an attitude of prayer.
- Unity calls me to humility. Jesus was GOD in the flesh when he walked on this earth, and yet he laid all that aside and humbled himself, as Paul writes in Philippians, Chapter 2. I can be humble and let God speak through my loving actions instead of my words.
- God’s truth will prevail. Yes, I will sometimes be called to share truth, particularly the Gospel with others. But when it comes to correcting other believers in the body of Christ, that may or may not be something God is asking me to do. More often than not, I’ve found, it’s far more profitable to pray for them. That requires me to have faith that God is real and that He is at work in the world, even in the lives of fellow believers that I disagree with vehemently.
In Christ there are no racial barriers, no socioeconomic boundaries and there is much room for people who think differently even about important issues. Jesus ate and drank with sinners, talked openly with women of ill repute and added a sketchy tax collector to his team. His loving example teaches me to see others as people like me, in need of grace to make it through one more day.
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