UNITY

Posted By: Dieuner Joseph | Monday, September 16, 2019


Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in 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 of one mind. Philippians 2:1-2

Since Adam and Eve were evicted from paradise, it has been difficult for human beings to live in harmony with one another. Not soon after the garden experience, Cain killed his brother Abel out of jealousy. Things have only gotten worse from that moment.

Whereas humanity was created to live in community, we struggle to live in harmony with one another. Thus, we see that even family members go at each other. The fact is that if you put two human beings together, there will inevitably be dissension between them. Therefore, it is not unusual that countries go to war against each other, many marriages end in divorce, and some churches go through division and split.

In today’s text, Paul exhorts the Philippian church to be like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. This is a message about unity. Paul understood that it was crucial for the saints in Philippi to be united. After all, as members of the body of Christ, we have “One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:5-6).

Which begs the question, why is it so difficult for Christians to live in unity with others? It is because of the sin of pride and the spirit of unforgiveness. The Bible places much emphasis on forgiveness because it is not possible to have unity without forgiveness. There is no way a marriage can survive without forgiveness. Parents have to cultivate a spirit of forgiveness as they go through the different stages of life with their children. Yet many Christians think they can grow in their spiritual walk with a spirit of unforgiveness.

The foremost reason why most people struggle with unforgiveness is pride. Most people do not like to appear weak. We want to punish people who hurt or betray us. So, we harbor resentment and bitterness for them as a way to punish them and to protect our pride. Unfortunately, we punish ourselves when we refuse to forgive our transgressors. We rob ourselves of our fellowship with God when we are not living in harmony with others.

Paul told the Philippians if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any, comfort from his love, cultivate unity. We cannot be united with Christ if we are divided with others. There is never a valid reason for a Christian not to forgive and live in harmony with everyone in the household of faith. We don’t have to agree with everything. However, we have to forgive one another and live in unity with each other.

Throughout my Christian journey, I had to learn not to be so easily offended. The Lord taught me to forgive by allowing me to get hurt on many occasions by brothers and sisters that I thought would never hurt me. Every time I got hurt, I withdraw myself as all true introverts do. However, the Holy Spirit always reminds me that I cannot have fellowship with Christ, be encouraged by the power of Christ, and do the work of Christ until I let go and let God.

The Holy Spirit gives us comfort and emotional healing from the love of Christ when people hurt us. Therefore, we can live in unity with our transgressors without any reservation or bitterness. Do not miss your blessing and become an enemy of God because of unforgiveness. Seek unity, and you will have strength in your weakness, peace in your storms, and joy in sorrow.

Prayer- Blessed Lord, I pray for those who are struggling to let go of past hurts and are unable to forgive. Send your Holy Spirit to remove the callous from their heart so they can be sensitized to your presence and be open to forgive for the sake of unity. I bind division in the Body of Christ and pray for believers to live in harmony with one another in Jesus name.

About The Author

Rev. Dieuner Joseph is a dynamic leader, disciple Maker, Writer, Talk Show host, and Spiritual counselor. Reverend Joseph is the founder of the Imani Temple Baptist Church and the Disciple Maker Ministry. He is a skilled Bible teacher who carefully and responsibly exegete the Scriptures to make them relevant to today’s readers. Through his Blog and weekly Christian magazine- The Wednesday Word- he seeks to provide Bible based instructions for dealing with the socio-political issues of today.

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