Unity in Christ: Loving One Another, Despite Our Differences
Biblical Wisdom Everyday Living Faith
In a divisive age, it’s easy to get caught up in our many differences. From political beliefs to eating habits and even athletic affiliations, we argue a lot. With drama permeating our every interaction online and in the real world, we feel stressed and alone. But are we really as different as we think?
Unity in Christ
There’s no escaping our many differences. They’re broadcast to us daily in these trying times; even if we’re not watching arguments break out on cable news or social media, we’re voicing our disagreements with people from all walks of life. Sometimes, it feels like nobody has our back.
It’s tough to admit, but we tend to blow disagreements out of proportion. In reality, we hold much in common with our brothers and sisters in Christ. For example, we are all sinners. Sin is part of human nature, and no matter our efforts, we cannot entirely escape it.
Thankfully, we are also all united in the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Some of us may hold different beliefs in how, exactly, Christ’s atoning on the cross affects us today. Still, the fact that we’ve been saved should be cause enough for us to rejoice together.
This is far from the first time we’ve faced disharmony in the Church. Glance through your Bible and you’ll observe that this issue dates back thousands of years. In 1 Corinthians, Paul reminded Christians that all believers belong to Christ and that we all share a desire for salvation. We can certainly use this reminder today.
Appreciating Diversity While Honoring Our Common Need for Christ
Life would be boring if we all looked, thought, or behaved in the exact same manner. What’s more, carbon copies would make us vulnerable to illness and other issues.
Diversity can strengthen us, even when we view it as a problem. Yes, it can be difficult to handle diversity of thought, but viewed in a different light, it could actually reinforce our personal beliefs.
Struggling to appreciate diversity or recognize our similarities as humans? These simple steps may help:
Look for Signs of Grace — Not Evidence of Sin or Weakness
As a mere human, it’s not your job to judge indiscriminately. Think of the cliché about stones and glass houses. Instead of hunting for sins in those with whom you disagree, search for signs of grace. This may be difficult at first. In an increasingly negative culture, we naturally seek out fault. If necessary, begin small. For example, your so-called adversaries may demonstrate love for their family members or use polite phrases such as ‘please’ or ‘thank you.’ Recognize and appreciate these positive qualities.
Revisit Bible Verses about Loving One Another
The Bible is chock full of verses that command us to love one other, despite our differences. 1 Peter 1:22 states “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.” Other verses worth reading include Hebrews 13:1 and John 15:12.
Be the First to Try for Reconciliation
Don’t wait for somebody else to make peace. If we all took a passive approach to developing unity as Christians, we’d never manage to gather as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Remember: You don’t have to agree with others in order to accept them. You may never arrive at a full understanding, but you can still appreciate that, as humans, you and your ‘adversary’ hold quite a bit in common.
Few Bible commands are more difficult — or more essential — to execute than “love one another.” It’s not an easy job when arguing is so much more satisfying. Ultimately, however, it’s more important to recognize our common need of a savior. Only then can we remove the log from our own eye to take care of the speck in our fellow Christians’ eyes.