I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one.

— JOHN 17:20-21

Growing up in my family, I learned many things. One thing I learned is that not everything can be about me. There were times when I attended events to support my parents or sister even if I had other plans that may have been more personally satisfying. The same thing is true when it comes to the family of God. Knowing Jesus unites us with His people even if His people have different personal interests! Jesus calls us to live unified, and that means that we need to learn to:

  • Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Can you imagine the possible tensions with the 12 disciples? There was a zealot and a tax collector on the team! They learned to navigate differences of opinion for a greater good!
  • Celebrate the diversity of the Holy Spirit’s work. We can appreciate the various ways people express their faith throughout the Christian tradition, even if it doesn’t mix with our personal taste.
  • Sacrifice to accommodate the other. Jesus gave us the ultimate model of sacrifice. If we are going to be unified, we must put the needs of others ahead of ourselves.
  • Have a collective witness. We are on the same team. A unified community following Jesus gets noticed. God uses it to change the world.

How about you? Is there a chance that your personal preferences have impacted the unity of God’s people? Do you value other viewpoints on issues like the vaccine or masks, or do you only see things one way? Has a secondary issue become too important in your heart and impacted unity?

Think and pray
Take a moment to read and reflect on John 17:9-23. Ask the Lord to speak to you. If you have broken unity, make it right. God wants us to follow Him together! When we live united with others, it provides a way for others to know His love.

Lord, we pray for unity in the body of Christ today. Grant us the patience to work together and let us work together with understanding and compassion in our hearts. Give us the same mind, sympathizing with one another, loving each other, tenderhearted and humble-minded - that others will see You in us. Amen.

Mike Arnold is the Area Director for CBMC in Pittsburgh, PA as well as a pastor, writer and business consultant. His passion is seeing the marketplace leveraged for Kingdom works, and helping men grow closer to God.