Unity Takes Work

Decoration image for quotation

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Colossians 3:13-14

Unity takes work, especially when the world finds itself dealing with a pandemic, wars, economic uncertainty and political upheaval. In the past few years there has been a mounting tension around divisive issues that pulls families and churches apart.

Perhaps, we need to be reminded that unity is not a means to an end, it is the end itself. The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus that the long-range plan God has is to bring everyone and everything into unity under Christ. God integrates, He coordinates or blends into a functioning or unified whole the people of God. While on the other hand, God’s enemy Satan, is diligently working to divide us and to disintegrate individuals, families, churches and even cities and nations. God integrates; the devil disintegrates. God brings us together in life; the devil endeavors to take us apart resulting in death.

Relationships disintegrate quickly when we hold a grievance against someone. The antidote to this is the hard work of forgiving others. Paul states in Colossians 3:13-14, Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

Over the past few years, while living through a pandemic, we have all been tested in our relationships. All the starts and stops, the ups and downs, the constant negative news feed has resulted in a mental fatigue that exposes the idiosyncrasies and weaknesses of those around us. Paul’s asking believers to forgive one another reveals that he understands that Christians are not perfect and will make mistakes that strain relationships. However, there are few disputes which could not be solved quickly if we apply Paul’s advice and are quick to forgive, even as Christ forgave us.

When we remember how much God forgives us it makes it a whole lot easier to forgive other people. We will never have to forgive anybody else more than God has already forgiven us. When we have a struggle with forgiving others it's usually because we ourselves don't feel forgiven. In walking in love and forgiveness we can build the common unity (community) that the Lord desires.

Action: Is there anyone I need to forgive today that I might have a grievance against?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I ask that You give me the grace to walk in love and forgive others as You have forgiven me. Help me to be humble and gentle, to be patient, bearing with one another in love. I ask you grant me strength to make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Amen.

Series: Unity 2023

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