“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” Psalm 133:1
Have you noticed how there seems to be a global shortage on unity today? We live in times where access to information is literally at your fingertips. Technology has connected people across the globe with devices that fit in your shirt pocket. We live in a time when more people are educated and have access to an education. Yet with all of these advances we are more divided than ever before.
The Bible says it is “good and pleasant when brothers (and sisters) dwell together in unity.” The adjective pleasant means to bring joy, causes pleasure, and is good in nature. Unity represents harmonious living. We need more relationships like this!
Often the cause of disunity is a misconception on what unity is. To better understand what unity is let’s define what it is not.
Unity is not uniformity.
If uniformity was the prerequisite of unity then God would not have created human diversity. Our world is filled with a mosaic of beautiful cultures and ethnicities. God is not interested in having us all act or look alike. We should celebrate diversity and not allow it to divide us.
Unity is not compromise.
It’s interesting that the first person in a conflict to suggest compromise is usually the one most unwilling to compromise. Yet we don’t need to compromise in order to obtain unity. If unity requires you to abandon your faith or beliefs, uniformity not unity is achieved.
Unity is not matching opinions.
Diversity of thought on secondary issues should not be divisive but informational. Learn from people who have a different opinion. Don’t allow opposing opinions to become bricks to build a wall of division. We can have a different opinion on secondary issues and maintain unity.
What are primary issues?
- Jesus is the one and only Son of God.
- Jesus is Immanuel, God with us.
- Jesus died and rose from the grave to give us eternal life.
- Jesus is coming back for His church.
- The Bible is the infallible Word of God.
These should be non-negotiable. They are the matters that mean the most in life. If it doesn’t have relevance in Heaven then it shouldn’t be divisive on Earth. When you arrive at the pearly gates in Heaven you will not be asked about politics, economical nor social statuses.
So let’s agree to disagree on secondary issues that do not have eternal ramifications. Unity is more important than my opinions, preferences or politics. The impact of unity on our relationships and in our church’s has much more significance than any debate we can win.
“It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes!” Psalm 133:2
Oil symbolizes consecration. In the Old Testament, anointing the priest with oil was a sign of being set apart for God. When we choose unity we are distinguished as the people of God. Our unity becomes evidence of God to an unbelieving world.
Oil is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. Genuine unity cannot be achieved apart from the Holy Spirit. When we make a decision to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we become the temple of the Holy Spirit. He makes unity possible by tempering and transforming our carnal nature. He helps us separate primary and secondary matters.
The oil flowing from the head of Aaron, to his beard and to the hem of his garment reveals the unstoppable essence of unity. When we commit to unity in our relationships and in the church the Holy Spirit can draw polar opposites and former enemies together. Only when unity is resisted can it be stopped.
“For there the LORD has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.” Psalm 133:3b
The word blessing in the Hebrew means “the favor of God.” Unity is the epicenter of God’s blessing. If there is no unity in your marriage, relationships or church they will operate without God’s blessing. Commit today to unity and do everything in your ability to maintain it. Life without unity is wearisome. How beautiful is it when brothers/sisters dwell together in unity!