The Necessity of Unity

Posted: March 14, 2013 in Thoughts from the Elders

1 Corinthians 1:10, “I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.”

Yeah, right!  And yet, maybe Paul knew what he was talking about.  I’ve been thinking a lot about unity in the Church and how incredibly important it is to the health of the body.  Think about our own bodies.  Here we are strolling along feeling great when all of a sudden a tooth decides to be difficult.  I don’t know about you but some of the most horrid pain I have experienced in my life has been a toothache.  It seems to bring everything to a screeching halt.  You can’t eat or sleep, you can’t focus on much of anything and all you can think about is getting to the dentist for some much anticipated and needed relief.

A toothache can start with just a little problem.  A tiny cavity that can only be seen by an x-ray.  If it is dealt with right away, the problem is solved.  But neglected and ignored it can turn into a life threatening problem.  It can lead to all kinds of misery, loss of a tooth or in extreme situations, even loss of life.

It can be the same way in the Body of Christ.  Someone is offended or doesn’t get their way.  The dissatisfaction can be shared with another person and then another until it spreads like a wildfire out of control. It can lead to hurt feelings, broken relationships and even church splits.  Often the cause of the problem can be just a little thing  that if it is not dealt with or given to God, it continues to fester until unity is destroyed.

Scriptures give us several avenues to avoid disunity.  1 Corinthians 12:12-26 tells of the necessity of all parts of the body.  Each of our gifts, talents and experiences are vital to the function of the church.  Whatever you do for Jesus in the Church is critically important in the life of the body.  When one suffers, we all suffer.

Ephesians 4:2-6 (2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.) gives a great prescription for unity in the body.

Humility: Putting others needs before our own.

Gentleness: Treating others with kindness even when  we have been wronged.

Patience: Understanding that God’s work takes time in everybody.  Sometimes what bothers us  the most  in someone else, is something that we have worked through in the past. It is often a painful reminder of where we once were.

Working at Unity: Making unity a priority.  Understanding the damage that can be done when seek only what we want and not what God wants. Making a  conscious effort to be a peacemaker.

We are facing a lot of changes ahead at Grace.  I am very optimistic about the future.  I cannot express the joy I felt when we unanimously voted to bring on Dave as our next sr. pastor.  I know my eyes were not dry.  Partly I was glad that Dave was accepted for the position but more than that, it was an amazing display of unity.  We all shared a common goal and purpose.  It was truly a rare moment of God’s love being expressed by his body  of believers.

We won’t always see eye to eye, and I guarantee that we always won’t get our way.  But I know that if we all “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”  We will be richly rewarded.

If your tooth hurts, go see your dentist, if your spirit is troubled, take it to Jesus.

Written by Ken Stoller – GCC Elder


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