How does one keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace? When people willingly join themselves together, they do so with good intentions. Each one comes from a place that is not shared by the others in that group. We all have our experiences, perspectives, and we launch into the future with that. Sometimes, we forget that not everyone thinks like I do. When we forget this, we attribute to others “they understand” my intentions (my motives) when, in fact, they may not. A great failing of humanity is this: attributing to another my way of thinking. In answering the question, the only right answer is under the banner of the Lord’s leadership. We have political perspectives that align, but they do not always align perfectly. We have philosophies of life that align, but they do not always align perfectly. When we address another who is totally different from me, then what? Can we still be unified? Yes, but only under the banner of the Lord’s authority. The Lord molds us into a thinking people that aligns with Him, and not our heritage or perspective. In this approach to keeping the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace we gain the Lord, and the Lord gains all those who love and obey Him. With love, devotion, and conviction, we live as Paul exhorted us to live, “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ lives in me…” (cf. Gal. 2:20). With this new approach to life, we operate from the source of love, as revealed in that which God did for us; we seek to show this love to others, regardless of their point of reference and circumstances (cf. Matthew 7:12; 22:34- 40). We are kind, gentle, teach the truth, forbearing to those we believe have done us wrong, allow not yesterday to get in front of today. In short, we live as Christ. How much effort are you putting in to keeping the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace?
- Ron Thomas, Sunrush church of Christ, Chillicothe, OH