READ : Ephesians 4:1-6
Complete my joy by being . . . in full accord and of one mind. (Phil. 2:2)
Words like these might prompt you to think, “Must all Christians in a church have the same point of view on everything? Does this mean we never disagree?” No, absolutely not. Paul is not throwing out all sense of individual thinking, nor is he pleading for drab uniformity. Rather, he is calling for an inner attitude of heart that seeks the good of the whole church and works overtime in cultivating agreement and harmony.
So how do we pull this off? First of all, we must be willing to cultivate a flexible and agreeable mindset. Instead of looking for problems, zeroing in on areas to pick at or critique negatively, we work through issues together, bound by our loyalty to each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. Second, we must sincerely desire harmony. Some don’t. They don’t know how to live without conflict, arguing and complaining even in the church. Their desire is for their way only. Third, we must be willing to admit our mistakes. When we are wrong, come clean quickly. Don’t try to twist what is wrong and make it sound right. And finally, we must be willing to change. There must be give and take.
Paul’s wise counsel for his first (and twenty-first) century friends is this: ease up. Life is too short and God is too good to allow differences of opinion to divide. Cultivate harmony in the body of Christ.
Lord, keep reminding me it’s not about me.