This has been frustrating me for a while now. Unity honestly shouldn’t be this hard. I don’t believe it should come as easy as we probably want it to either though.
Let’s be honest. Being a Christian is hard.
I probably say the statement above at least once a week. People (aka ME & You) are frustrating, immature, selfish, divisive, and rude. Just to name a few. Sin is frustrating, whether it’s in your life or someone else’s. The media seems to want to spark another Civil War daily. It’s frustrating, and it’s hard. I asked my beautiful wife why is unity so hard and she said, “Because no one wants to give up a part of themselves to accept someone else.” Guys, I was so upset. I was mad because this one line was better than anything I’ve written in my last 7 blogs hahaha. But how true is that? We as a people have such a hard time accepting other peoples opinions and views on things because it didn’t stem from our heads or because it’s true and it’s challenging, or because we grew up a certain way and were taught this our whole lives so it must be the only way and the right way. But that’s the thing, Satan wants to divide us like the Grand Canyon. He HATES us. He also knows that we’re stronger together than we are alone. Why do you think Satan didn’t act alone when he tried to take over the throne? Because there’s strength in numbers. Unless you’re fighting God hahaha.
I’ll say it again, it’s hard being a Christian. Along with being a Christian comes a command to love people as we would love ourselves. That’s hard.
What’s crazy to me is that Jesus knew this already. Shocking, right? I find this very interesting because there are only a couple handfuls of prayers that are recorded that Jesus spoke. This is so amazing to me. Read the verses below and feel free to laugh at this GIF.
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
WOW! WOW! WOW! Jesus prays specifically for us as believers to walk in oneness together. In unity. He already knew that in 2018 believers would be arguing about the current events and someone’s stance on a certain issue would cause them to disagree. He knew that people would begin to grow a secret hatred for each other because they disagreed on topics. He knew that Satan would ATTEMPT (keyword) to use social media to tear the church apart. He knew. So what did He do? He prayed. He passionately prayed for you, me and the rest of the believers in the world to walk as one. He prays that we would be one just like Him and God are ONE. WOW.
Think about it. Jesus came face to face with so many people that lived opposing lifestyles and had radically different views. And He simply chooses to love them.
I’ll say this as well. Oneness doesn’t mean that you will always agree on everything!! The disciples didn’t agree on everything, the apostles didn’t, you and I won’t and that is ok.
What does walking in oneness look like? Loving that person that is homosexual, sexist, racist, prejudice, ridiculous, insensitive, or whatever they are. We love them. And we love them with excellence. As unconditional as our sinful selves will allow us. We love them. It’s not optional. Never should our political party, views on social justice issues, beliefs about religion stop us from loving the person beside us. We should walk in oneness because we’re stronger together than we are separate.
Walking in oneness is being fully aware that you don’t agree with the other believer but you know that your beliefs on an issue will never cause you to stop loving that person.
We might not agree with them but there’s nothing stopping us from loving them usually beside ourselves.
I had the opportunity to love on people through my Facebook post about Kaepernick. I knew it wouldn’t be popular, but I was prepared for the heat. People that I love dearly straight up told me that they don’t agree with what I just typed and it seems simple to me…How could I ever allow something so small compared to the love of Christ EVER come between us? Is it easy? Not always! But the way I look at it is: I’m broken, you’re broken, we’re uniquely created differently with different backgrounds, passions, convictions, experiences, and testimonies. It’s ok not to agree. It’s honestly healthy to not agree, but we can’t allow that to get in the way of unity.
Basketball. Coach Boyett taught us about FIST. FIVE. INDIVIDUALS. SUCCEEDING. TOGETHER. Five individual players with skills that were uniquely different, that when valued correctly from each other can be one of the most beautiful things you can ever imagine. Different skills, same mindset. Play harder than anyone else, and compete. Play your role. Be who you are.
The same thing spiritually. We all have different skills. We all have different passions. We’re all unique. We all have different beliefs on certain issues. We’re all in different jobs and positions. But if you’re a follower of Jesus, this means that those individual things that God has blessed us with are nothing if we forget that our commonality is based on a love that is more powerful than our brain would dare to allow us to imagine. If we focus on the big picture, lives will be changed forever. Even Jesus says so in verse 23 “I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
In conclusion: We know that there are believers that truly and genuinely love God that believe: immigration laws should be weaker or stronger, Kaepernick is an idiot or a hero, Brett Kavanaugh is guilty or innocent, Trump is the best or the worst president ever, and so on. We must place these things aside, not ignore them, but put them aside and continue to remember the big picture. What’s the big picture? God loves us. He allows us to show other people His love through the way that we LOVE PEOPLE. Jesus said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35) Not the human idea of love where we just tell ourselves, “I’m just gonna pray for them.” No. Love like the Bible tells us to.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. “
Let our love for each other be so strong that no matter the differences, people can always clearly see God is love.
Thanks for reading! It’s been really fun blogging. Do you have a hobby? You should get one if you don’t. They’re healthy! Below you’ll see a couple of verses that have helped me as I try to walk in unity with other believers.
Remember, we all need encouragement, no matter the season.
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6 NIV
“Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.” -James 4:11 NIV