Bound by a Single Strand
Verse 14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing,
Having looked at the first facet of the opposite forces to arguing we will now look at the second facet, unity.
Like peace, unity is often misunderstood to be getting along perfectly with others. In all honesty that is only partially true about unity. While peace was a choice in getting along, unity shows joint purpose. It is about having the same end goal in sight and desire to walk to that goal in step with each other.
Contrary to popular belief unity isn’t something that we work towards by trying to live in unity. We could try with all our might and still not put forth enough effort to come to unity. That is because unity in the Church isn’t about us. The unity of the Church is solely based on where we stand with Christ. If we are living lives in service of Him and His desires, we can’t help but be in unity. It is only when our own desires enter the conversation that unity is disrupted.
Paul tells his friends in Philippi that they are to do everything without arguing. He needs them to understand the same thing we need to grasp, our living for Him has no room for our petty preferences. Jesus had lived a life in complete unity with the Father and He wants the same for us. In fact He prayed that very thing for us.
In John 17:21 Jesus prayed that we would be one with each other as He is one with the Father. The unity He has with the Father is more than we could ever gain because we don’t have the connection they have but that doesn’t give us an excuse for not seeking the Lord and His purposes in the spirit of oneness.
This unity reveals itself through clearly seeing the goal of the holy kingdom. When we decide to aim for His holy purpose we will gain a deeper desire to work together towards that goal. When paired with peace, unity allows the Church to shine with God’s glory. It brings a clearer picture of Him and His triune nature.
Making It Personal
What actions or words have you used that strained unity in a relationship? Is unity important to you? What steps are you willing to take for unity?
Making It Personal Kids
Did you know that Jesus prayed for you? Did you know He prayed that you would live with the same purpose as other Christians? What do you think Jesus’ purpose for your life is?
Father, Your oneness is more than we can imagine and yet that is Your desire is for us in the Church. We understand that we can only find the unity You prayed for us when we seek to live according to Your purpose with others that have the same mind. Guide us in Your way. Teach us to seek Your way above all else. In Jesus’ name, amen.