Unity seems to be an elusive goal in our society. Marriages and families are disintegrating at an alarming rate. Infighting and division is common in many other groups, including businesses and churches. What is the cause of this breakdown in unity and harmonius relationships? The cause is simply selfishness, seeking to obtain the greatest advantage from the group and giving back as little as possible. When there is no unity, when there is division, what is the result?
Mark 3:25 (NIV) If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
When there is no unity in a group or relationship, that “house” is doomed to collapse. On the other hand, unity is a wonderful thing to be a part of.
Psalm 133:1 (NIV) How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!
There is blessing, there is peace and joy when people in a group work together in unity. Generally, groups and relationships begin with unity. However, over time, inevitable forces work to sow seeds of division into a group. Unity is something that must actively be maintained, whether in a relationship or in a group.
Ephesians 4:3 (NIV) Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
This verse is speaking specifially about the unity of the Spirit in a church family. Notice that every member must make every effort in order to keep the unity. Of course, unity and peace go hand in hand.
So, whatever church, group or relationship that you are a part of, ask yourself some questions.
- Am I taking advantage of others in the group or relationship?
- Am I doing less than my fair share in the work of the group?
- Am I doing less than my fair share in contributing to the group?
- If my behavior is not conducive to keeping the unity, what will I ask God to help me change in my behavior?
Listen to my July 5, 2009 message “Maintaining Unity” based on Nehemiah 5, to learn the principles of maintaining unity in your life (message notes).