“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” – Psalm 133:1
There is so much static in the world today it is very difficult to understand what is really going on. What news outlet is relaying the truth and not twisting someone’s words. What governing body is for the people and which is trying to take advantage of a situation by accomplishing hidden agendas. Struggles in the home because of the stress of uncertainty. I could go on, but I am sure my point is made.
Sometimes our focus can become so narrow we do not see clearly. With our face against the wall, we only see the wall. As we step further back, we see that the wall has a window and through that window we see a bigger picture. We can see the sky, the mountains, the trees, birds, people, all that God created.
That is the key, “all that God created”. Genesis 1 tells us all that God created and at the end of the chapter He was pleased. If God himself found joy in all that He created, why have we become so focused on the problems that we fail to see the bigger picture?
“2Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. 3Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.” – Ephesians 4:2-3 NLT
Be humble and gentle
If we stare at something closely and long enough, the perception of possible flaws may become more apparent. If we step back and take the opportunity to see from a different perspective, maybe the flaws we perceived are not flaws at all. A worldly view is to assume that a condition or issue is due to some underlining sin in a person’s life. By having this mentality, we can easily become judgmental and less compassionate or gentle. Maybe God is delaying His blessing or His Grace for the right moment (John 9:4) and our job is to pray?
Without humbleness we tend to close ourselves off and become narrowminded. We fail to see the bigger picture. Jesus knew who He was yet did not think of Himself as an equal with God. Our Lord and Savior came to serve and not be served. Even unto death, He remained obedient and graciously and humbly die on the cross for you and me.
Be patient and forgiving
Sitting in traffic is a wonderful place to test one’s patience. Especially when you add screaming kids in the back seat, loud music, horns honking, people yelling, accidents, the stress level can quickly go from 1 to 11. With that increased stress comes decreased patience.
Jesus in the likeness of man, was a very patient person, given that man is prone to be impatient. Even while His friends were panicking thinking the boat was going to sink during the storm, Jesus slept (Mark 4:37). His patience with Peter was demonstrated multiple times. Peter was so eager to follow and serve, but Jesus knew better (Luke 22:32-34). Sometimes we want what we are not full prepared to handle. It would not be until after Jesus died and rose that Peter would understand God’s timing. And sometimes, it is our mistakes God uses to awaken us, so we do not stumble again (2 Peter 1:10).
After Jesus was beaten, tortured, bleeding and barely alive. Jesus still was patient and displayed God’s loving character. He gave grace to the mocking criminal and salvation to the repentant. All while nailed to a cross by His hands and feet (Luke 23:39-43).
Keep united in the Spirit bound with peace.
Jesus stated in Matthew 12:26, “If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand?” The same applies to the Kingdom of God. If the Spirit of God within us is divided, how then can the Kingdom of God stand?
The church is filled with so many different personalities and mentalities. God has placed something special within each of us that has the potential to be extraordinary. That same potential can also cause friction. Without a common ground all that friction can build up and ultimately explode. So often we hear stories of people leaving a church because of differences of one kind or another.
We as children of God need to remember that Jesus Christ is our common ground. Remaining humble and gentle with one another and united in the Holy Spirit should be at the top of our daily aspirations. Being gracious when a brother or sister in Christ falls short, forgiving transgressions and to love those that are not being loving. Keeping the peace during times of trouble is not easy on our own strength. That is why the Lord sent us a helper (John 15:26 NASB).
Peace amongst different dynamics does not need to be mentally exhausting. Our differences in the church community is what makes us strong. Unity in the Spirit should encourage growth, development and stimulate change within us to become better people who exemplifies God character.
In Jesus glorious name