In a divisive world, it’s important to remember that division is the enemy’s plan, not God’s. It’s an attitude of heart and mind poised against Christ.
Throughout scripture, God reveals His design for relationships and relational connection. It is in relationship, and the way we engage with one another, that we can experience more of who God is and all God has for us. We are created after the image of a God whose nature is relational. Designed to need Him and others.
Divisive opinions reveal the stubbornness and pride of our own hearts, more than the wrongness of someone else’s. Our staunch stances also reveal our fears of getting it wrong, being wrong, and somehow not being accepted as right enough. Rather, God draws us near to His heart and into unity, centered on who He is and His design for us.
It is critical we recognize we are not expected to have the same opinions. We are not given the same set of gifts and desires. No two people have the same set of strengths and weaknesses, or the same way of expressing them. Also, because of individual temperaments, even people who experience the same events will have different reactions.
We are still called to unity in the body of Christ.
With the help of OpenBible.info, I pulled together a list of scriptures that help us see God’s heart for unity.
1 Corinthians 1:10
I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.
1 Peter 3:8
Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.
Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
A Song of Ascents. Of David. Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!
2 Corinthians 13:
Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, …
Eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
That together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.
Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,
Romans 15: 5
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,
So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.
Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.
1 Corinthians 12:12
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
Until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,
I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 12:13
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
That they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
As a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
From whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
2 Chronicles 30:12
The hand of God was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the princes commanded by the word of the Lord.
1 Corinthians 12:26
If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
1 Corinthians 12:14
For the body does not consist of one member but of many.
There’s a lot in these verses, and reading them in context gives us a lot more to consider.
I’d love to hear your initial impressions though.
What stands out to you the most?
How do these verses encourage or challenge you?
Share in the comments below.