Sony’s Thoughts: Unity
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” (John 17:20-23)
The above Scripture is a portion of a prayer Jesus prayed for Believers everywhere: “that they all may be one as You, Father, are in Me, and I in you.” How far off track we have gotten from Jesus’ plan for His followers. It doesn’t seem like it takes much to start a major argument with someone over petty disagreements. It’s important to know what you believe and to live accordingly but I think we often take it too far. Jesus would quote Scripture to teach and instruct but He didn’t argue with people. He lived a life that drew them and, when they were drawn, they would ask questions and He would answer them. Yet I see people wrangling over doctrines and parting fellowship over things such as what kind of music is played in the church, what version of the Bible is read, or even how we should take communion and how often we should do so. How Jesus must grieve when He sees His followers taking what He said and taking them to extremes He never intended. His words are important and are to be obeyed but some things just aren’t clear and to fight over them produces the opposite of the unity He prayed that His children would have.
Along with the separation of Believers often comes a harsh, judgmental attitude which we are also told not to have. We pride ourselves on having the correct doctrine and yet disobey other Scriptures in the process. I believe if we would spend more time searching the Scriptures and examining our own hearts, we would find ourselves becoming more loving and forbearing with our Brothers and Sisters. Strife cannot dwell in God’s presence. His Spirit brings peace, joy and contentment. That is what we should have in our daily lives. That is what other Believers (and the world) should see in us. No, we won’t always agree but we don’t have to. We can challenge each other as “iron sharpens iron” (Proverbs 27:17) but we can still love each other, we can still encourage each other, and we can still be the Body He prayed for us to be. Let’s pray for unity. If ever there were a time we need each other, I’m convinced it’s now. Let’s pray for the unity Christ prayed that we would have.