Unity does not mean uniformity!

This word, unity, has been stirring in my heart for many months now. Somedays, I hear it echo loudly, and then there are days it is only a whisper, but it keeps coming up.

And as surprising as it may seem, this word is misunderstood in many circles. I believe the reason that it is so misinterpreted is that the enemy knows the power of unity or agreement and wants to keep us (all people) divided.

It doesn’t matter the size of the division; it can be as in small circles of friends or big groups like businesses, communities, or even a Nation and everything in between.

1 Corinthians 1:10 NIV

I appeal to you, brothers and sister, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.

In this verse, Paul is saying that we need to pursue unity within the church of Christ intentionally. Do not give place to divisiveness or competition. Instead, honor others, seek to be like-minded (in our belief in the Messiah), and recognize Jesus as the common ground for unity.

I volunteer as a mentor at a local ministry, and the woman I was teaching was telling me how she went to a concert of a Christian artist. She said, “it is hard to explain, I was around a bunch of people I didn’t know, but it didn’t bother me. It was like we were friends or something. I was okay with them jumping up and down, and they were okay with me dancing. It was like we were  connected.”

That connection is the spirit of God that is in each of us. It is the Christ in our brothers in sisters that reaches out to the Christ in us. We are united in and through Him. It is a miracle of the indwelling of Christ. But that doesn’t mean we look, dress, or even talk the same way.

We each have a specific niche, talent, or “gifting” that might not be another person’s favorite ice cream flavor (per se). We might communicate a bit differently, or we might like to wear jeans when another wants to wear dress slacks. All of that doesn’t matter. We can still be unified.    

Unity, in Greek, means oneness.

Oneness is defined in Webster as a combination or ordering of parts in a literary or artistic production that constitutes a whole or promotes an undivided effect. 

Think of a jigsaw puzzle. Each piece of the puzzle has a different shape from the other, but it creates an image when interlocked together.  Whenever I have done a puzzle, I would become somewhat overwhelmed looking at all the pieces.  Thoughts like: Where do I even begin, or, It’s going to take me forever to put this together, would echo in my mind.

                We all can be overwhelmed when something looks too big to accomplish, right?

But once I begin to separate the border pieces, I would be able to figure out how to fit them together. Slowly finding the details, the task didn’t seem so overwhelming. The different random pieces of color start to blend. Then suddenly I see it! The picture the creator of the puzzle intended the result to look like.

I write all this out to say; we look different, we have different shapes and sizes, but if we can stop looking at our differences and come together, the results would be amazing. It might look a little intimidating. We might not know where to begin, but let’s step out of our comfort zones and connect.

There have been many things being exposed in the world we live in that are evil. So many fronts we need to begin to unite to protect the innocents of our children. We can not fight all of these things by ourselves. However, we can partner and interlock arms with individuals that have already begun to fight (Purple for parents of Indiana).  We can share with our friends and neighbors the things that are being taught to our youth in public schools. We cannot put our heads in the sand any longer.

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