If unity commands God’s blessing (Psalm 133), don’t you want unity? I want unity so bad I can taste it. I’ve never talked to a Christian who would disagree with the reality that unity is one of the most important factors for any Christian family, church, ministry, or leadership team. We all want unity.
If we all want unity, then why is it so hard to get (and so hard to keep)?
The short answer is SIN. But this is not a blog on how to lose unity (that’s a “skill” you don’t want to teach as a pastor), this is a blog on how to get unity.
How do we get unified?
We all have personal preferences, we have different points of origin, we have different experiences, and we have a diversity of gifts and passions (diversity itself is a mark of God’s design in a church, see Romans 12 or 1 Corinthians 12).
Can I suggest something to you?
Most of the time when we’re looking for unity, we look at what other people prefer, desire, or demand, and we think: “if only they could change and view things similar to how I view them, then unity would be easily attainable.”
Friend, that’s just not how unity works.
How does unity work?
Unity starts with each one of us individually focusing on what God wants to change in US, not in others.
Look at what Paul says in Philippians 2:1-4
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Let each of you have concern, not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
We get on the road to unity when each one of us begins practicing passages like this in our individual lives. So as I apply this to my life, unity starts with me. Unity starts with me coming before God day by day, humbling myself before him, being saturated in His word, and submitting myself to the leading of His Spirit. My role in unity is getting in accountability, embracing community, and practicing passages like Philippians 2:1-4 in my life.
How about you? You could say it like this: unity starts with YOU.