Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:3
In every sport, certain elements bind a team together. Coaches, fields, matching uniforms, and rulebooks ensure that everyone is playing the same game. Before a group of individuals can work together in unity, there must be a common denominator. Every player must understand the rules, the boundary lines, and the necessity of the other players. When a team is unified, success is within reach. However, when every person is looking out only for himself, chaos erupts. If you shouted “Fire!” in a crowded theater or “Sale!” in Wal-Mart on Black Friday, you would see this principal in action.
The church is no different. We are groups of individuals, selfish to the core, who are trying to work together for a common goal. But if we don’t identify that goal and purpose to reach it together, we become like those shoppers in Wal-Mart, everyone trying to get the best deal. The bond that must tie us together is the “bond of peace,” given by the Holy Spirit to churches who desire it. That bond must supersede personal agendas and opinions. Otherwise, Jesus’ goal to evangelize the world takes a backseat to divisions and ego-trips. The early church knew they needed each other and were on a unified mission to spread the Good News about Jesus. This verse encourages them—and us—to make whatever sacrifices necessary to keep that “unity of the Spirit” the strongest bond in our churches. When the Holy Spirit is the winner in every dispute, unity rules and a church thrives.
What sacrifices have you made to keep the bond of unity with your brothers and sisters in Christ?