Today, I want to address how we can move beyond the political, racial, and religious divide in our nation today. One of my favorite Bible verses on the subject is found in Psalm 133:1 where David says, “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity.” Here are three things I think we can do to promote unity in our homes, churches, and communities.
- Never allow your emotions to get the best of you. The Bible says it best in Ephesians 4:26, “In your anger do not sin…” In other words, I believe it is okay to become upset when you feel that you have been mistreated. It’s okay to be angry when you see or personally experience injustice. However, no matter how mad you become, it’s never okay to respond in a sinful manner. Yes, we have the right to become angry, but we must never allow our hearts to be filled with hatred for our fellow man. Always remember, the issue is NOT whether you will disagree with someone, but rather how you treat someone, when you passionately disagree!
- Ask God for help. I am a firm believer that before you confront anyone, you should pray about the situation. You should ask God to show you how much of the conflict is your fault. You should ask God to reveal to you anything you may have misunderstood. Jesus himself said it best in Matthew 7:4-5, “How can you say to your brother, let me take the speck out of your eye, when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? (5)You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Making peace with your fellow man always begins with you taking responsibility for your part in the conflict.
- Always take the initiative in resolving conflict. Promoting unity means that, at times, you have to be the bigger person. If you are in the WRONG, then certainly go and apologize. Jesus’ says it in this manner in Matthew 5:23-24, “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, (24) leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother then come and offer your gift.” Jesus makes it plain; when you are in the wrong, take the initiative. Yet, Jesus also tells us that when we are in the RIGHT, we should also take the initiative to end any conflict. He goes on to say in Matthew 18:15, “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.” Interestingly enough, Jesus says there are only two scenarios where He wants us to take the initiative in resolving conflict with our fellow man, when we are WRONG and when we are RIGHT.
We live in a day and time where politicians, news pundits, and social media have become so divisive. We are living in a day were the actions of many can be characterized as disrespectful, insensitive, and at times, down right hateful. I firmly believe, with the help of the good Lord, we can change things. I believe we can be individual agents of change, promoting unity with our fellow man. I leave you with the words of Paul found in Galatians 3:28-29, “There is neither Jew not Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (29)If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s see, and heirs according to the promise.” Blessings!!!