Fighting For Unity in a World That Preaches Division

5 Mins read

It could easily be argued that we’re living in a more divided time than we’ve ever experienced in our history. It seems impossible to watch the news, get on social media, or even walk around your neighborhood without seeing multiple, blatant examples of division. Division is the work of Satan and is not part of God’s design for His people. That’s why it is our responsibility to relentlessly fight for unity in a world that preaches division.

Mark 3:24-26 (TPT)
No kingdom can endure if it is divided against itself, and a splintered household will not be able to stand, for it is divided. And if Satan fights against himself he will not endure, and his end has come.

Over the last couple years, the amount of division that seems to be at the forefront of our society is alarming. It’s hard to turn on the news without seeing people divided by racial, socioeconomical, or political lines. In fact, the last two years have led to even more division, as people have resorted to vile insults toward one another over something as seemingly innocent as whether to wear a face covering while in public. There’s no denying, that Satan and his seeds of division seem to be growing abundantly in the garden of our modern culture.

However, division is not part of God’s design for His people. Instead, He not only wants us to be a unified people, but He also wants us to be a source of unity for the people around us. In the verses that we just read, Jesus was speaking to a crowd about the importance of unity. The multitude was incredibly divided. The religious scholars were accusing Jesus of being possessed by an evil spirit, meanwhile, His own family had declared that He was insane! Meanwhile, Jesus and His disciples knew that neither were true, and He was the promised Messiah.

In this particular case, there were three separate camps, each of whom were convinced that they were correct. Obviously, we know that only one of the three had accepted the Truth, but at the time there were three divided groups. Instead of taking this opportunity to declare the truth about Himself, Jesus instead saw this as an opportunity to preach about the importance of unity.

Today, there are groups of people who are divided about everything. Vaccinations or no vaccinations, masks or no masks, Republicans or democrats, black or white, and virtually every other topic imaginable. The only thing that we can know for a certainty is that Jesus Christ is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Additionally, we can stand on the truth of the fact that Christ wants His people to be unified and that He wants us to be an example of unity to the world around us.

While division is certainly more prevalent thanks to nonstop media influences, it is certainly not new. Satan has been trying to sow seeds of division for thousands of years, and he is not inclined to stop. That means it is up to us, the Church, the body of Christ, the light of the world to provide an example of unity and to fight against the forces of division. His Kingdom come!

Differences Don’t Have to Breed Division

Proverbs 27:17 (TPT)
It takes a grinding wheel to sharpen a blade, and so one person sharpens the character of another.

One of the most dangerous aspects of division is found in how easily we allow it to develop. Every person who disagrees with you on a given topic is not your enemy. Instead, friction is actually a good thing. In this verse from Proverbs, Solomon pointed to the way that a grinding wheel sharpens a blade to the same way that one person can sharpen the character of another.

As Christians, there are only a few things that we cannot compromise on. We believe that Jesus, who was the only son of God, was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died on the cross, and raised again on the third day. Additionally, we believe that the Bible is inspired by God and that every word within it is true. Outside of that, nothing else has to be a source of division for Christians.

Christ never wanted His Church to become divided about societal topics. Instead, He wanted us to present a form of unity that could serve as an encouraging example to the world around us. People who think differently than you on certain topics are not your enemy. In fact, having calm, rational conversations with those people can serve as a great development for your own character.

Finding Common Ground

Genesis 1:26-27 (ESV)
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

One of the most effective ways to combat the spirit of division that is so incredibly prevalent in our world is in finding common ground with the people around us. That includes the people who don’t vote like us, think like us, or look like us. On the surface, it may seem like there aren’t any commonalities, but we can look to this verse from the description of God’s creation of the world to find multiple examples of common ground.

First of all, we are all made in the image of God. Each one of us is a human being who God has created for a specific purpose. Within that creation, all of us have some flaws and some issues that we have to deal with on a daily basis. As humans, our natural inclination is to justify our own issues while we look down on the issues of others. If the first step of defeating division is found in finding common ground, start with the fact that you are no more perfect than the person you’re standing against in a given situation.

Why are we no better than them? Because we’re all infected with the same disease from our inception: sin. The only cure for this disease is found in the blood that Christ shed on Calvary. One of the first rules of negotiating is that you’re supposed to find some commonality with the person you’re negotiating with. The same could be said about division. In your fight against division, look for common ground. If you can’t find any, remember that you and the other person are both made in the image of God and are both sinful humans in need of a loving Savior.

Seeking Understanding vs. Seeking Being Understood

James 1:19-21 (ESV)
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

When we’re at odds with someone over a given topic, our natural instinct is to try to make sure that the other person hears and eventually agrees with our point of view. What if you took a different approach? What if instead of fighting relentlessly to be understood, you made an attempt to understand the other side of the aisle?

James, the half-brother of Christ, spoke on the importance of slowing down our tongues in an effort to speed up our listening. When we do that, we also become much slower to be angry.

The final phase of defeating division is simply to spend less time trying to be heard and more time truly listening to what the other person is saying. This doesn’t mean that you have to agree to them. Some cases end with an agreement to disagree. However, when you’re slower to speak and in turn slower to anger, you are less likely to say something that you’ll regret later and division can be avoided.

A Closing Prayer:

God, help me to be a beacon of unity to a divided world around me. I know that You want unity, and I want it too. In Christ’s name, Amen

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