But I urge you, believers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in complete agreement in what you say, and that there be no divisions or factions among you, but that you be perfectly united in your way of thinking and your judgment [about matters of the faith]. 1 Corinthians 1:10
Paul started his letter to the church at Corinth by addressing divisions and unity. He started there because if one doesn't get the unity right, the movement will fall apart no matter the potential, gifts, talents, or blessings of those involved.
"They called Hitler crazy. But Hitler was not crazy. He was stupid. You don't fight Russia and America. You get Russia and America to fight each other and destroy each other." From the movie "The Sum of all Fears."
So often, unity is just getting along because it is more fun than conflict.
But the worst conflicts are the ones that live just below the surface as a false peace.
They may look nice but are as powerless as peacekeepers in hostile territory.
The purpose of unity in an organization or movement is to achieve its goal. This is true in our churches, families, nations, and physical bodies.
Autoimmune diseases are the result of our natural bodies turning in against themselves. The immune system identifies an issue within the body's tissues and then attacks it.
Another divisive issue in our bodies is cancer.
The etiology of a cancer cell is growth at all costs versus fruitfulness.
It is a very self-centered framework.
The same destructive result will happen in the body of Christ when self-centered thinking is present.
So one condition is when the body turns on itself, and the other is when a part of the body decides to do its own thing.
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. James 4:1-3
So what is the solution to disunity?
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10)
Love is desiring the best for another and what is best for all.
A body wants what is best for its arm and every part!
Read 1 Corinthians Chapter 13
As you read the above, think of relationships where it would bring unity if you lived from a position of humility.
Consider how you respond to others when you don't understand their actions and words.
What would be the best way to bring peace into the relationship:
Assuming the worst?
Telling someone else what they did?
Dial a friend?
Write them off?
Asking them for clarity and seeking understanding?
(If you are struggling for the righteous answer, it is the last one)
I do not write this from a pious position but one of conviction.
If Jesus says that by this, all people will know that you are My disciples: if you love one another, then everything about our lives should bear witness to loving others.
We can only have unity through love and love through unity.
The conundrum about unity is that without love, you cannot have true unity, and without unity in the body, we cannot love the world we've been given the opportunity to love!
Believe love never fails.
Lord, may we reckon ourselves dead to sin and alive to Christ. May we yield our will to Yours, Your desires become our desires, and Your love flow from our lives. Amen