My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?— 1 Corinthians 1:11-13
A man and his wife were walking through a park in Miami one afternoon when they saw a Cuban family enjoying a picnic. The family was tossing scraps of bread to a raccoon and saying repeatedly, “Oye, chico, ven aca” (Come here, boy!).
The man thought for a moment and laughed. He confessed to his wife that his first reaction was, “That’s silly. Raccoons don’t speak Spanish!”
Whatever our background, it’s our nature to see the world through our own experiences. This can sometimes create a problem when well-meaning people from different backgrounds try to resolve conflict, each carrying his or her own assumptions for how the world “should” work.
When we look at much of the disunity in our churches today, this has been the crux of the issue: People from different ages, races, and backgrounds come together with their own ideas of how Christianity works. But the truth is that these ideas are just that… ideas. They’re preferences based on our own life experiences.
To have unity in our churches, we as members must submit our preferences to a simple question: What is the best way to carry out the Great Commandment of loving God and loving people? So instead of just fighting for what seems right to you, question your own assumptions and be part of the conversation for how to move forward in unity!
Ask God to help you see your opinions on non-biblical matters as secondary to unity in the Body of Christ.
Questions for thought
Think of a time when a disagreement arose with another believer over a non-biblical matter. What happened?
How might having a unity-focused perspective on your own opinions help you the next time you encounter a conflict like that?