Opportunity for Unity

Core Value – All for One
Ephesians 4:3 says that we should…

“Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace” and that we are “to be defenders of the unity.”

Several years ago we went on a family trip to Italy. While we were there, I couldn’t help but notice that soldiers, dressed for battle and carrying automatic weapons, were stationed outside many of the buildings around us. It seemed odd to me to that we were surrounded by so many beautiful architectural structures and fascinating historical landmarks, but scattered around us were a good number of intimidating men holding machine guns and looking very serious. I couldn’t help but wonder if there had been some international crisis that I hadn’t heard about. So I asked our tour guide if there was something going on. His response was, “Those are just the peacekeepers. They are here to keep the peace.” These same people who are trained to go to war and fight, are also trained and equipped to maintain peace.

Right there in that moment, what I had always imagined a peacemaker in the body of Christ to be and look like changed from PASSIVE —a subdued little lamb —to a fully equipped soldier ready for battle.

At Christ Fellowship, we have a set of Core Values that we hold to. One of those is “All for One: Unity centered on Jesus and our Core Beliefs.” If we are going to experience the blessings of being All for One, we need to be ready to fight for it.

Ephesians 4:3 says that we should “Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace” and that we are “to be defenders of the unity.”

 I used to think that conflicts and disagreements were the absence of unity. The truth is, conflict is actually an opportunity for unity!

Many times the differences we experience with each other are just the result of different backgrounds, opinions, or having a bad day. If we keep that in mind as we are interacting with people we can easily respond from a biblical perspective as we:

  • Overlook minor offenses – Fill the gap with trust and believe the best. Don’t expose others’ faults and weaknesses. Instead, treat others the way we want to be treated. We can choose to fully forgive without any further discussion of the matter!
  • Over-love people – Put into practice the principles God sets forth in His word. Philippians 2:3 says, “…in humility value others above yourselves, not looking out for your own interests but each of you looking out for the interests of others.” Have the courageous conversation, but you must put aside personal comfort and defend unity above all else! And remember, face-to-face is the best way.

As you apply God’s word to your relationships, you will experience true peace and unity the way He intended. Our unity will then help reveal to the world that Jesus is God [John 13:35]. This takes courage. Just like a soldier, we never want to go into battle unprepared, so we need to take our preparation seriously! Ask yourself, “How can I prepare now for my next opportunity for unity?”