As Women of the Way, we seek unity in the Body of Christ as we focus on Who unites us rather than what divides us.
We are One Body with many parts. We are One Church with many voices.
Join me in welcoming Trish Pierson as she shares her voice on unity!
Unity is like learning to play an instrument
One of our grandsons is a member of his middle school band. When he first picked up that instrument, he did not know how to play it. He did not know which “buttons” to push to bring out the right notes, he could not read the sheet music, and, he definitely, could not make beautiful music! He did, however, have an instructor, a coach, a conductor, someone who came alongside him to encourage him, to allow him to make mistakes, to play the wrong notes, to show him the correct way to play. Each member of the band had someone to do the same thing with him or her. The initial “songs” they played may not have sounded the way they were supposed to, but, at the recent recital, they were all in harmony. That is what unity is supposed to look like.
Unity is like learning to Follow the Conductor
The band conductor knew from experience that the band was able to play more beautiful and stronger music as a whole group even though they have may have been excellent individually. They had one united focus. This unity did not just happen on its own. The conductor and each of the musicians had to do his/her part.
This is the way the church is meant to be-in unity/ in harmony.
Walking in Unity
4 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,
2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.Ephesians 4:1-3
Unity is Possible even when Life is Messy
Life is messy, relationships are messy. Times of stress can strain relationships and we end up hurting each other and destroying the unity we have worked hard for. Satan’s goal is to destroy our unity. We were made for community, to walk in a manner worthy of our calling. We are to work through the conflicts, our differences. We need to be intentional about speaking the truth in love (with the right attitude and heart), to forgive one another when we “play the wrong notes”. Not to “pick up our instruments and go home” when we are hurt. We are to walk in humility and gentleness, putting others before ourselves. God has given us the ability to be patient, kind, and loving through our actions and words. True biblical unity begins in the heart of each believer. What if each of us who call ourselves a child of the Living God walked in this way?
9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit,[a] serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.[b] Never be wise in your own sight.
17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with one another.
The Opposite of Unity
What prevents unity/harmony in the church at large?
1. Selfishness/Pride-when we put our eyes on self, our agenda, our way of doing things.
2. Competitiveness-when we want to be in front, in first place.
3. Unresolved hurt feelings-whether people toward us or us toward others.
4. Thinking everyone needs to think/act/worship like we do.
5. Misunderstandings and miscommunications.
6. Concentrating on the minors and forgetting all about the majors.
There is so much I could unpack on each of these, but it would take up too much space and time at this moment
Who is Your Conductor?
Just as the band conductor leads the school band, Jesus is our conductor. He is the One who guides and leads us in the harmony He so strongly desires that we exhibit in the world, especially in the chaotic and ungodly world we live in today. If the school band did not follow the guidance of the one in front, all those listening would just hear a bunch of noise and confusion. So….if we, as the church, are not united/in harmony and following the instruction of the One in front of us, all the world is seeing just confusion and conflict. What message does that show to them?
Don’t take your eyes off the Conductor!
When we keep our eyes focused on Him, to follow Him, every everything else gets put into their proper place of important and we can experience peace and harmony no matter what the actions of others may be. Life is like walking on the water, don’t take your eyes off the conductor-Jesus!
Why are we to live in harmony with one another?
So that TOGETHER we may with one voice glory the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5) And to show the lost world that we have love for one another because we are His disciples. (John 13:35)
Father, We ask for your help to set aside our differences and look to the greater cause, the cause of Christ. We ask that you would help us to truly live a life of love. We ask that you surround this world and cover us with your mighty hand. We pray for biblical unity, that in spite of our differences, we would be willing to stand strong together and live out our days with compassion and grace. Remind us to live aware, to redeem the time, keep our eyes focused on you, and be willing to make a difference wherever you place us. Amen.
Trish Pierson is originally from Northern Illinois but has lived in many different states and countries. She currently lives in Frankewing, TN where she and her husband serve at Stewart Chapel Baptist Church in Flintville, TN. She has two grown children, six grandchildren, and one great grand with one on the way. She loves to dig into the Word of God in order to live in out in her own life and in the lives of other women. One of her life goals is to write a book (on what subject? Not sure yet!)
If you would like to share your thoughts about unity on a WoW Voices post, email Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org