“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace”
Ephesians 4:1-3 ESV
As a leader in the early church, Paul did not want the early Christian movement to destroy itself from the inside.
They faced plenty of persecution from external sources, so it would have been very hard to maintain the momentum they were developing across the Mediterranean if there was not this commitment to maintaining the unity of the Spirit.
Human nature is not always agreeable though. Sometimes we feel like there are those people that we just cannot get along with.
It might be something as basic as a personality conflict, but we just have problems appreciating certain people.
Paul encourages us to bear with each other in love particularly within the church. He doesn’t promise us that we are all going to get along perfectly. However, we have to maintain the unity of the Spirit because we are Christians, and we are brothers and sisters.
That ultimately becomes a matter of priorities.
Do we ultimately care more about unity or disagreement? I am sure that we would all claim to answer that question in the same way, but the ultimate proof is in how we treat our brothers and sisters. My prayer for all of us is that we bear with each other in love even if it might be difficult. In the end, the result of doing God’s work as a united force is worth all the effort we put into overcoming our differences.
Guest devotion by Zak Schmoll. Zak earned his MA in Apologetics from Houston Baptist University in 2016. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Humanities from Faulkner University and blogs at Entering the Public Square. Learn how you can become a guest writer.