Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Divide or Unite

Everyday it seems someone is trying to enlist us into one camp or another:

~ celebrate Halloween or abstain
~ stay home or go to work
~ grocery store or farmer's market
~ homemade or store bought
~ Republican or Democrat
~ Barbies or no Barbies
~ public school, homeschool or private school
~ no TV, yes TV
~ short-term missions or long-term missions
~ 10 children or one or two (or none)
~ hymns or praise music
~ women up front or women in their seats
~ immunizations or no immunizations
~ a simple Christmas or an extravagant one
~ giving of our money or of ourselves
~ a glass of wine or "No thank you, I don't drink."
~ long hair or short
~ breast feed or bottle feed
~ pants or skirts
~ video games or not
~ whole grain or processed
~ oven or crock pot
~ boxers or briefs (see- it can get a little ridiculous)

I could go on and on and on.

All these issues have the power to divide.  And part of me wonders if they exist as issues for this sole purpose.

We all lean one way or another.  I do (and on some I lean harder than others).  And so do you.  When we're faced with the opportunity to weigh in on them (via facebook, blog posts or face-to-face conversations), what do we do?  What should we do?

If our stance on a issue is grounded in God's Word and our understanding of His will for our lives in that particular area, we can rest in that.  We can express our views and even explain our reasons for believing them in a Spirit of love.  We can ask questions and answer questions but it should not be our goal to "win". Our goal is to show love- to be in a relationship that will foster growth, support and opportunities to minister to each other.

If we could all agree, it would be wonderful. And, we should strive for that- with the right heart and attitude.

Do not let them divide us.  We are made for unity.


How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!  Psalm 133:1

I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.  John 17:23

I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.  1 Corinthians 1:10

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit-just as you were called to one hope when you were called- one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.  Ephesians 4:2-6

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Philippians 2:1-3 

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.  Colossians 3:14

Let's contribute to one and not the other.

In Love,
Jane Pin It

12 comments:

  1. May God bless you for speaking this simply, but powerful truth! I teach a weekly cooking class to inner city children and I remember after the last election being asked who I voted for. I told them that I choose not to discuss politics because that topic is a divisive one. I told them that I valued my friendship with them more than voicing my choice for president. I'm not sure they understood fully (3rd & 4th graders), but they never pressed me for it again and one even hugged me after class and said, "thank you for being my friend"! Be blessed!

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  2. Crazy, but true. How often we can get caught up in *issues* and forget the bigger picture! May the Lord give much grace and wisdom to know when to keep quiet. Often that's all that's required. :) Hugs to you! Camille

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  3. I stumbled onto your blog last night and I just have to say how wonderful it is. You've put together so much valuable knowledge here and you write in such an open and inviting way. I've only begun to read through this blog but it is wonderful. Thank you!

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  4. This is very important - it's something which has been coming to me for a while now. If we're not gathering with Him, we're scattering. That's something major to think about!

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    1. Thank you for your addition. I am reading Isaiah right now and this just gave me more light.

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  5. I love this. Love. I saw a quote the other day that I thought of while reading this and that is......we're all really just walking each other home. We forget we're all really fighting the same battle.....against the devil, not each other. Love, compassion, understanding, gentleness....that's what we need to focus on as we walk together.

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  6. Interesting and thought provoking.

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  7. Well spoken (written) and lovely.

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  8. Isn't that the truth! A tool in Satan's pocket for sure to divide the church. And we can be so easily distracted by the world and it's 'issues' and opinions that we forget that we are to be in the world but not of it. Thank you for this reminder! Erika from MishMashedMe

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  9. Jane, this is beautiful. Thank you. I've been one, in the past, to weigh in heavily on things and take stands staunchly to the point of, at least in my thinking, being terribly judgemental with people who thought differently. I'm trying hard to lay that attitude aside. I'm thankful for the words of our pastor who regularly taught us that love and truth are inseparable. We cannot sacrifice one in the name of the other.

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  10. You are right about division being ugly. However, there seems to be a ditch on either side of the road. It is true that our sinful nature wants us to cause division where it is unnecessary. However, some churches are now so ecumenical in their teaching that they don't emphasize the authority of Scripture. This idea taken to the extreme is the notion that all paths lead to God. If we all go along with this, we have the appearance of unity, but then we've accepted falsehood.

    Of course, I know you aren't suggesting this, but it is the ditch on one side of the road. I do appreciate your thoughts, and like the Anabaptist of old, supporting your thoughts with Scripture.

    I'll steal your pickled beets later.

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  11. Thank you! This is so beautiful that I am sharing it on Facebook, in the hope that my contacts will read and also begin enjoying your wonderful blog that I was blessed to find. God bless you and your family!

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Just a friendly reminder, if you know me personally please try to refrain from using my name. There are those who may try to locate me, break into my pantry and steal my pickled beets. Thanks:-).

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