In today’s divisive age, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important. Getting caught up in their differences—i.e., differences in political views, eating and dressing habits, and other affiliations—people end up arguing and hating each other. Despite our differences, we aren’t all that different from one another.
Our belief in Christ and fellowship with the Spirit keeps us united and stronger together. The Lord once said, “If ye are not one ye are not mine” (D&C 38:27). Unity presents us with many opportunities and builds harmony among our sisters and brothers in the church.
Christ also prayed for the unity of His disciples, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us” (John 17:21).
Growing unity amongst ourselves will help us serve Christ together, be at peace, and learn from each other. Unity in the church is crucial to creating strong bonds and spreading the words of our Savior throughout the world, building a harmonious community for ourselves. Unity will also make us feel safe and help us understand each other with patience, making the church a safe place for everyone.
In building unity, we all have a role to play. Every member of the church has a part to play in creating a unified Christian community.
How to Create Unity?
What is unity in the Church all about? What does it mean to be unified with the community despite our differences?
Unity in the Church means becoming unified for a bigger cause. It means realizing that people are stronger together than they are individually and relishing each other’s camaraderie.
It’s important to understand that building a unified community isn’t something that happens overnight. We have to work hard and continuously to build unity and maintain it. As directed in Ephesians 4:3, we all should “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
Now that we’ve learned what unity in the church is and how it impacts all of us, let’s learn more about how the community can build and maintain this unity!
Our Common Identity
Before anything else, it’s important to remember that at the forefront, we’re all Christ’s children and that we all come from the same place. Although people have their differences, brothers and sisters in Christianity have one thing in common that outweighs all their differences. That one thing that brings us together and serves as our common identity is our faith in the Savior. This common identity goes beyond the differences in our political views, sports affiliations, and other interests.
Being one doesn’t mean we all have to think, speak, or be alike, it just means we share a connection that unites us.
Importance of a Community
Humans are social beings as we rely on one another to survive and prosper. Humans have always lived together not only for survival but have built communities to socialize and support each other. People who stay together and create unity tend to be more successful and resilient.
This acknowledgment of the need to build a community is what will help you bring unity to the Church. Our brothers and sisters in faith can help us get through the difficult times and even rejoice when in our celebrations.
A sense of community will strengthen our bonds and help us grow and become closer to the Savior and the Spirit. Therefore, acknowledging our need to be together will lay a foundation for unity in the Church.
Seeing the Best in Everyone
It’s common to be cynical toward someone. However, one shouldn’t let the negative feelings result in disunity. Even if you don’t get along with someone, you have to realize that bearing ill will would only do more harm to you than others. Learn to let go of grudges and be more accepting of others.
Make sure that you see things from the other person’s perspective before assuming the worst about them. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Every human being has both good and bad qualities. Make sure you’re always focusing on the good qualities.
Bible also discusses the importance of unity and emphasizes staying humble. “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” Ephesians 4:2-3.
Being humble is important because it reminds us of human nature’s weaknesses and discourages us from being judgmental. By practicing humility, we’re more likely to be gracious toward our brothers and sisters in the Church, which eventually creates a bond of unity.
Things don’t always go smoothly between family members. However, we have to make a conscious effort to resolve our conflicts and not allow things to get messy. This is also true for our spiritual family members: our brothers and sisters in the church.
We have to strive hard to work through conflict and always be the first ones to forgive and ask forgiveness. This will help mend our relationships and keep us stronger.
Gossiping about people in the church and throwing words like “bless them” for good measure doesn’t make the sin smaller. Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up”.
No matter how tempted you are, commit yourself to avoid gossip at all costs as it creates disunity.
Learn More About Building Unity From Bishop Newland
Now that you’ve gone through a few Bible verses about unity and how to create unity among your Christian brothers and sisters, buy a copy of Bishop Newland’s The Spirit of Individualism to learn why unity is so important. No one is perfect, but we should still strive to get past our differences by living in deeper unity together.
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