Fighting for the Unity | Walking Worthy: Fighting for the Unity

Monday, July 8, 2013

Fighting for the Unity

Sixth grade was the worst year of my life. Well, at least is seemed that way at the time. I had just moved up from elementary school leaving my best friend behind. Elizabeth was a year younger than me and it was like torture to not have her in Sixth grade with me. I had two girls that I was friends with. One day they made fun of something I wore. I was so embarrassed that I yelled at them. I can't remember what I said, but my words created a storm. My two friends became my enemies and they seemingly lived to make my year as miserable as possible. 

Words of Fire
My words started a storm that felt unfixable. James 3:5 says "So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!" James lays it out there for us, the tongue, even though it is so small, is strong enough to set an entire forrest on fire. The tongue is powerful!

James goes on to talk more about the tongue" With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water?"

James makes it quite clear to us. As believers our mouths should not bless and curse men. That word curse in the greek means "to pray against, to wish evil against a person or thing" Any time we wish evil or speak evil against someone we are cursing them with our mouths. James tells us that a fountain cannot send forth both fresh and bitter water from the same opening. As believers we should be a fresh water fountain. Bitter water should never come out of us, in the same way our words should never be filled with a curse. 

The fiery words I spoke  in the Sixth grade happened in a moment. My friendship with those girls was never the same. My heart breaks when I hear about similar situations happening in the body of Christ. 

Unity in the Body
When speaking of the body of Christ Paul often reminds of for the need of unity, giving each other grace, speaking in love, and walking in forgiveness toward each other. In Ephesians 4:3, Paul urges us to be "diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." In Colossians 3:12-14 Paul writes "So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity." When speaking of the body Paul often reminds believers that there is one body. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul uses the word one or same 17 times. Over and over he reminds us that the body is to be one. Whether we are Jews, Greeks, slaves, or free, all believers are made into one body. Paul is crystal clear that as believers we should not only be concerned about unity in the body, we should fight for it.

The Fight for Unity
How do we fight for unity? It starts with our tongue. Often dissension in the body of Christ happens when we open our mouths and speak. It happens when we gossip about other believers. It happens when we argue and fight. Paul is clear about how our response should be, let's go back to Colossians 3. We are to "put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, & patience; bearing with one allotter, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone."So when we are faced with a situation where we want to speak in a manner that is not worthy, then we do what is often hard to do, we speak in a manner worthy of Jesus. Colossians tells us that just as Jesus forgave us, so we too ought to forgive others. So when we walk in the things that are hard, we are walking like Jesus, we are forgiving like Jesus.

But I Can't Do it!!!
You might be like me and thinking, I don't have the strength to do that. Or, you don't know what they did to me. I may not know what happened, but I can tell you that God's Word is still clear on the answer. Colossians 3:12-14, is not an option. It's not even something we are to strive for. As believers Colossians 3:12-14 is our identity. We are to wear it like clothing. So how do we we walk in this? How do we embrace this as our identity? By embracing Jesus. When we abide in Jesus like we see in John 15, then we are given the strength to walk in the way Paul describes in Colossians 3.

So where are you at? What kind of words come out of your mouth? Are they words that curse or words that bless? Are you hurting the body of Christ by speaking words that divide? Or are you fighting for the unity?

post signature

No comments:

Post a Comment