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Seek Unity Not Uniformity
“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so, the body is not made up of one part but of many” (1 Corinthians 12:21-31 NIV).
All members of most sports teams wear a uniform. This designates they are a part of the same team. However, each member is not uniform in terms of their role or skill on the team. Different roles and skills are needed for any team to be successful. Similarly, we are a part of God’s team. We are according to 1 Peter 2:9, “a chosen people, a royal priesthood.” We do not wear the same outward uniform, but inwardly the Holy Spirit resides in each of us. We each were called into ministry through our baptism and profession of faith in Jesus and have been equipped and blessed with different skills and roles. You are a unique member on God’s team because nobody has your perspective, experience, and skills. Nobody else has your testimony. Your authentic spoken testimony and witness is a powerful tool for evangelism.
We can speak words of truth and love or lies and hate. Scripture teaches, “the tongue has the power of life and death” (Proverbs 18:21). Words can cause division and hurt. If a word slipped out of your mouth in anger or strife, take it back. Apologize for it and tell your friend, partner, or family member that you said the wrong thing. It should be noted that some people are toxic and prefer strife over unity.
Jesus spoke words of unity. The enemy spoke words of strife in Genesis 3 and Matthew 4. Unity is not the absence of strife but the courage to refuse it. Scripture teaches about strife. “The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out” (Proverbs 17:14).
One of the greatest causes of strife today is a lack of humility. Our ego is easily bruised when somebody uses words to attack our character or our family. We would be wise to heed the advice of James 1:19; “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” Humility helps us to be slow to anger. Micah 6:8 reads “And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God (emphasis added).”
So, what does humility look like in our daily life? The answer can be found in Philippians 2:3-4. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Nobody has modelled humility for us better than Jesus. He willingly left the paradise of heaven and came to a fallen earth to knowingly be hated, tortured, and crucified on a cross.
Pray for unity in the Body of Christ. It’s important.
Prayer: Thank you for the blessing of children. Be with us as we try to raise our children to love and honor you. Amen.
Meet the Author
Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
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