Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brothers to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Coming down upon the beard,
Even Aaron’s beard,
Coming down upon the edge of his robes.
It is like the dew of Hermon
Coming down upon the mountains of Zion;
For there the Lord commanded the blessing—life forever.
Unity is a powerful word. It conjures up other powerful words, oneness, agreement, accord and harmony. It is a beautiful word, and it carries a Godly weight. When it is in operation within a community of believers there is an attractiveness that is born of God and, as scripture says, there the Lord commands a blessing – life forever.
However, I fear that we particularly in the west have misunderstood the meaning of unity. For many, it seems to mean ‘those who think the same…about everything!’
Unity does not equal ‘you agree with me on everything or else we are not in unity!’ Healthy discourse and even disagreement do not mean that we are not in unity! It is possible to have sustained disagreement and remain in accord where love is at the centre of relationship!
I believe that the confusion and misrepresentation of unity come partly from our lack of understanding around our generalised identity and our unique identity in God.
Galatians 3:28 NLT
There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.
There is indeed a beautiful unity in the body of Christ, and yet we only need to look at the splits down denominational lines to see the misunderstanding and inability to bear with each other. We seem incapable of allowing for diversity in unity while not compromising the absolute truths of God.
Galatians 5:25-26 MSG
‘Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.’
When we understand our uniqueness and identity in God, we find that we can appreciate, celebrate and champion others for their uniqueness. Such an atmosphere fosters unity born of love rather than always having to agree on everything.
John 17:21 NASB
“I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; That they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me”
Andee Sellman is the founder of Land Of Seven Rivers.
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