‘I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. ‘ 1 Corinthians 1:10 NLT
Paul appeals to the Church in Corinth because of the divisions in the church. Paul notes how the members of the church have begun to take sides to a point of lifting people up over Christ. He urges the church to be of the same thought and purpose, to share the Good News. This not only happened in the church in Corinth but even in churches today. We compare and pick sides as if Christ was divided. We need to stop placing people on pedestals and see each other just as we are, parts of the body of Christ. Just as the body is not made up of just one or two parts, we all need to work together, for one purpose. (1 Corinthians 12:1-27)
For me, when I see divisions in the church it really does hurt. It is painful to see people leave the church for various reasons, especially those with whom I have grown up within the church. I know when imperfect people get together, there will be disagreements, but we should find a way to settle them through the grace of God. Some points we can follow to live with one purpose and in unity.
- Do not harbor anger (Eph 4:31). Anger and unresolved disagreements can poison churches. As it festers and grows, anger will soon cause an explosion that will blow up and kill relationships. We need to be mature enough to not let our anger overcome us, but be able to channel that anger toward solutions under God’s love and grace.
- Be careful of our gossip or unedifying comments (Eph 4:29). I know it is easy to make comments about a part of the worship service that expresses our dissatisfaction. “Oh, the worship was …” “The message was …” “Oh, did you see …? They are so ….” Not one of the angels that encircle the throne of God would dare say something like that. We too need to make our lips edify and look for God’s best in others. We need to just stop those comments from leaving our mouths.
Dear God Almighty, I pray for the Church. Let us unify in praise and purpose in Your Name Jesus. Like how you do not want anyone to be lost but be under your love and care, help us to be people that glorify You and express your love to others. I ask that we can represent you in our spheres of influence. Keep anger from overcoming us and allow our tongues to speak of praise and glory to you! Let us be a unified light that shines your light in the darkness of the world today. We love you and ask of this in your Name, Jesus. Amen