Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.2 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.4 For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. 5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism,6 one God and Father of all,who is over all, in all, and living through all. (NLT)
What do you think of when you hear the word unity? What does it mean to you?
In the last year, we have seen a lot of disunity. We have seen a great divide over the global pandemic and how to respond. We have seen world leaders cause division and disruption in their own countries. We’ve witnessed countries close their borders and refuse to allow foreigners to visit.
Sometimes, it feels as though we are more divided than we are united in all aspects of life. There is disunity within the church, in our homes, at the workplace and in schools. Does unity exist anywhere anymore?
In Ephesians 4:1-6, Paul is reminding us of our unity in Christ. He is telling all believers that we are one and our actions need to reflect that. God has called each of us and we must live a life worthy of that calling.
How do we do that? How do we remain united in a disunited world?
It starts with how we treat one another. Paul tells us to be humble and gentle. We are not to place ourselves above anyone else. We cannot view some as superior to others. There is no hierarchy among Christ followers. As Galatians 3:28 says
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (NLT)
We are all one in Christ Jesus. We are brothers and sisters. We are all worthy, valued and loved by our amazing and powerful God.
Paul continues by telling us to be patient with each other and allow for one another’s faults. We are to give one another grace and mercy, as God has given to us.
In verse 3, Paul advises that we make every effort to be united in the Spirit. We are to be bond together in peace as one body. We all belong to the Kingdom of God. We share an incredible faith and hope for the future God has planned for us.
I ask you – are you making every effort to be united in the Spirit?
Is there disunity in your life that needs to be reconciled?
Most of us have experienced division in our lives. We have had disagreements, lost relationships, parted ways in anger, and engaged in ‘taking sides’. We have experienced disunity in our families, at work, with friends and in the church.
We are not always going to agree on everything. People will often see things differently and have opinions that differ. We are all made uniquely and therefore we think and feel uniquely. We all have different life experiences that will affect our perspectives.
But there is one truth that is undeniable; one truth that will forever bond us together. That truth is Jesus. That truth is in the cross. And we cannot let things of the earth divide us from that truth. We cannot let disagreement be bigger than love.
I encourage you, if there is disunity in your life, seek to reconcile it. Is there a friend you had a fight with? Call and make it right. Is there a family member you are not speaking to? Open communication. Is there a conflict at work? Call a meeting and discuss it in a healthy way. Were you hurt by someone at church? Reach out to them and tell them in love.
First and foremost, we are sons and daughters of the Almighty God in Heaven. We are unified in that. We are unified in Christ’s love. We are unified as one body. Let nothing break that.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)