“I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment”.
1 Corinthians 1:10
“Ask dad first. No, ask mom first!” Savvy kids know how to pit parents against each other to get what they want. Many of us have done it as kids and experience this division again when we’re a parent. Division happens anywhere there are people: in families, in the marketplace and in government. Sadly, the great opposer to unity in our churches, Satan, operates continually, pitting members and leaders against one other too.
Unity was threatened in the Corinthian church. Paul addressed the issue frequently (1 Corinthians 1:10, 3:1, 10:17, 12:12-20, 11:18, 12:25,27). In 1 Corinthians 1:10 he says “all” implying inclusivity, and “brother” meaning family commitment. God uniquely created each of us to be in the family of God. We all perceive, experience and share God’s love differently. Paul’s encouragement and admonition are to not let these differences divide us. Our uniqueness is part of the beauty of God’s kingdom. There is unity in the power and grace of the gospel. Let’s all strive to have unity that comes from having the mind of Christ and the love of the Father as we allow the Holy Spirit to do the judging. God plans our journeys and gifts each one of us to fulfill our specific role in the church. We are one body with many parts. We are one family of God with many members.
We have unity, harmony and peace in his love. Paul says, “complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.” (Philippians 2:2) Think of a group or an individual with whom you would like more Christ-like commonality. Explore the reasons you find yourself in disagreement and apply Paul’s encouragement from the verses this week on restoration, comfort, and like-mindedness. Pray this verse over your relationship: “Finally brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” (2 Corinthians 13:11) And pray the benediction from the end of Paul’s letter: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Corinthians 13:14)
By Donna Burns