4 Essential Attitudes To Maintain Unity

UnityUnited we stand, divided we fall. Isn’t this very true? We understand the importance of living in unity to accomplish a common goal. But many times, achieving unity is tough when people start to think more about self. God wants us to live in unity. He united us together and made us part of his Church. Are we continuing to live in the unity which God gifted us? Apostle Paul wrote about four essential attitudes which can help us to maintain unity in the Church of God and these are foundations for the unity in our family as well.

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. – Ephesians 4:1-3

Importance of maintaining unity:

In previous chapters of Ephesians, Apostle Paul outlined the amazing work of God in creating his church. God chose us before the foundation of the earth, saved us by his grace, showered us with all spiritual blessings, united us with his binding love, made us part of one temple and one body where God resides. He breaks down the wall of separation and unites us in to one body in Christ. The body cannot function if individual parts do not cooperate and work in unity. We are called to live worthy of this calling to keep the unity in the Church of God. Jesus prayed that we live in unity just as the Father and Son are one (John 17:20-23). There can be many factors which can destroy this unity and Paul asks us to make every effort to keep this unity.

Four essential attitudes to maintain unity:

Humility – Being humble is the starting step towards unity. It is the opposite of pride. Bible calls us to be humble so many times. Do we have this attitude in our life? Humility is having a modest view of our self. There are many good people who live humble life but biblical humility is God centered. We become humble when we recognize the person who we are now is only by the grace of God (2 Cor. 3:5) and we don’t have anything to become proud. It is God’s grace and the realization of his grace will make us humble. Pride is the source of disunity and we can overcome by being humbling ourselves.

Meekness(Gentle)– Humility is our attitude towards others and meekness is our action/response to others. Being gentle or meek is considered weak in our aggressive culture. Bible says Jesus was gentle and meek (Matt. 11:29). There is no weakness in him but he submitted himself to the will of God. It is the strength under control defines his meekness. We cannot be meek unless we are humble. When we are meek, we will be willingly submit to others for a greater good of unity. It is not in our strength but understanding who we are in Christ will enable us to be gentle and prevent impulsive anger towards others.

Patience (Longsuffering) – Patience or longsuffereing is the opposite of short temper. Sadly, many of us struggle with this and continue to accept it as one of our characters. When we value our self more, we expect more from others and can get irritated easily. Humility and meekness can help us maintain enduring patience. Think about how God dealt with us patiently even when we rebelled against him. When we realize his patience, we can show this attitude towards others(Rom.2:4;2 Pet.3:9). As Psalmist said, we need to be slow to anger and quick to forgive (Psalm:145) which will help us to live in unity.

Bearing with one another in love – Many times we avoid people who are not compatible or hard to get along according to our standards. Think about it, we are not perfect, everyone has their own shortcomings. When we have unconditional love, we will be able tolerate others. We can have a heart to forgive and accept others. This love is not based on other person but it is because of who we are in Christ. God loved us and gave his only Son to redeem us. He expects us to love one another as he loved us. If we have this love, it can enable us to tolerate all differences (1 Cor. 13:4-8) and create unity with our brothers and sisters.

These attitudes are easier said than done. We struggle to follow these on our own. But we can depend on God to produce these fruits in our life. He has given us his spirit into us when we trusted Christ and he can produce these fruits in our life when we yield to him. We need to practice these in our lives consistently and make every effort to display the attitudes partnering with holy spirit. God knows our shortcomings and when we ask him in prayer, he will strengthen our inner being with power to be humble, meek, patient and bearing with one another in love maintaining unity in the church and in our families.

Question to ponder: Think about a scenario which makes you burst with anger, How can you change that behavior with humility, meekness, patience and love?

8 thoughts on “4 Essential Attitudes To Maintain Unity

  1. Yes I believe very much Peter in God’s Unity but not in accepting what is wrong as though it does not matter just to keep the peace, everything we do must reflect Jesus in us. If others sin in the Church we are to rebuke them in Love for Love, so Satan does not get a foothold in their lives but as you shared we accept their weaknesses and shortcomings, we have our own but there are two types of pride, Godly Pride and worldly or fleshy pride, we are to have Godly Pride not worldly pride.

    *What Worldly pride is…

    Mark 7:22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

    1 John 2:15- 17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the Pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

    * What Godly Pride is …

    Galatians 6: 4 Each one should understand their own actions. Then they can take Pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to others.

    2 Corinthians 8:24 show these men the proof of your Love and the reason for our Pride in you, so that the Churches can see it.

    2 Corinthians 5:11-12 Because we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. It is plain to God what we are, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. We are giving you an opportunity to take Pride in us not trying to commend ourselves again to you , so that you have an answer for those who take Pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart.

    Romans 11:13b I take Pride in my Ministry.

    As a Christian Peter I also take Godly Pride in my Ministry to those who are in darkness, and rejoice with those who are not as I’m sure you do too and also who I am in Christ Jesus but as far as worldly titles, degrees and positions of importance or fleshy knowledge and wisdom, they are man’s foolishness when they become their main focus and they depend on them for self-worth.

    Christian Love in Christ Jesus – Anne.

  2. As I was thinking about your message again Peter I felt the need to share some more Scriptures that explain what is also important for Unity as the Body of Christ, we are to be there for each other in the good and bad and we are to show we Love not just talk about it.

    Philippians 2:1-6 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of Love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same Love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

    1 Corinthians 1: 10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

    1John 4 :20 -21 If a man say, I Love God, and hateth his brother/sister, he is a liar: for he that Loveth not his brother/sister whom he hath seen, how can he Love God whom he/she hath not seen? And this Commandment have we from Him, That he who Loveth God Love his brother/sister also.

    2 Corinthians 1:3-5 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

    Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one anther’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

    Romans 12:15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

    Hebrews 10 24-25 And let us consider one another in order to stir up Love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

    Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

    Philippians 3:14-16 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, where to we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

    Acts 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

    2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in Peace; and the God of Love and Peace shall be with you.

    1 John 3:16-18 By this we know Love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the Love of God abide in Him? My little children, let us not Love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in Truth.

    1 Peter 3:7-9 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, Love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.

    Christian Love in Christ Jesus – Anne.

    • Thanks Anne for your thoughtful comments and all the wonderful verse references. Indeed, Unity is a wonderful thing God has gifted us and expects that we maintain unity in the church but as you said it is our responsibility as part of the body of Christ to confront sin with a heart of love and compassion towards others.

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  5. Thank you for this message! I am teaching in my congregation (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) next week and I am going to quote you on some of your material. This is truly what the Savior wants from us. We don’t have to rely on our own capacities to love as he does. We can rely on Him, his grace to be loving and to foster greater unity within our families and communities.

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