Posted by: Jo | June 24, 2016

Unity Not Uniformity

“How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!”

(Psalm 133: 1)

image Last week I was watching the pageantry taking place in Britain as the country celebrated the Queen’s 90th birthday. The Brits certainly have perfected massive displays to honour Royalty, some dating back centuries, and all conducted with such precision it is impossible not to be impressed. I was watching the part where the House Guards were marching past the Queen and as they began to move they appeared to be not a troop of men, but a single body moving in uniformity and it would have been hard to distinguish one from another.  The crowd was not in uniformity, but united in their enthusiasm for the display and showed it in all sorts of ways with loud clapping, waving of flags etc., but of course it was not in an especially rehearsed uniform way, each person retained their own individuality.

This started me thinking about what Scripture means when God’s word urges us as believers to live in unity with the other members of his family. When Jesus is praying for all believers he asks the Father that we remain in unity so the world will see Jesus in us and to know that the Father loves his children.

“I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17: 23)

It is interesting to note that nowhere does the Word tell us we have to be uniform Christians, all of us being exactly like each other, we each have our own personality. The pressure to be like others is prevalent in even our own culture. When we are teenagers we long to be like that beautiful girl, or that football star that everybody idolises or we want to wear the right clothes that fit in with all the other kids, we try to be like everyone else.

These same thoughts can creep into our spiritual lives as well and we can begin to compare ourselves with others, mistakenly believing that we don’t quite measure up in the Father’s eyes if we are not as spiritual as others. We feel that we haven’t got any important gifts and slip into admiring others who we think have spectacular gifts. The one important factor we do need to be in unity with other believers is, there are many gifts, but one Spirit.image

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.” (1 Corinthians 12: 4 – 6)

We can celebrate our different personalities, our different gifts when we rid ourselves of the rigidity of thinking we must conform to some sort of uniformity. True unity is only found in being united with Christ and when we cherish this beautiful union of his love, we will achieve perfect unity.

“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (Colossians 3: 14)

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Responses

  1. I love Corinthians 12; that is what spoke to me. thanks for the “putting this together, Jo”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How relevant your comments are Jo. Sadly, in Britain, the USA as well as Australia ar present the call in newspapers and on television is to vigorously oppose those who do not share one’s views. Respect for “the opposition” is not called for. May we glimpse the Spirit in those whose politics we do not share – and find the unity that only love can bring as Paul says!

    Like

  3. We understood that unity years ago, didn’t we Jo, when we realised we were all united in Christ’s love. A good message Jo and thank you again.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Colossians 2:12 is where it starts. With the indicative reality of whose we are and who we are… http://www.brendonward.org

    Like


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