We are supposed to be the most gracious and loving people on this earth. We represent the living God, who IS love.
So why are we so often the easiest to offend? Why are our divisions so profound and destructive? Why are we too proud to forgive, to be gracious, to be kind and to apologize? Despite our disagreements and differences, why are we not united?
In Philippians 2:1, Paul says, “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort in love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy.” Meaning, if any of these elements exist in you, as a believer, or in your community of local church members (AND THERE IS!), then this should result in…
Philippians 2:2, “Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.” The result of having the love of Christ in the Spirit, which also comes with affection and sympathy for each other as believers, is UNITY!
We all share the same Christ. We all share the same Spirit. We all share the same love. We all share the same affection and sympathy. If we are united in these foundational pillars, then the result is that we will all think the same! We will be united in one mind, and be in full accord with each other.
We unite because our God is in essence unity himself. The Father, the Son and the Spirit are completely united as one in a perfect triangle of love, and mercifully brought us into his union.
Why then, are we so quick to be offended by our brother whom we are to be united with? Why are we so slow to forgive? So slow to repent? So slow to commune? And so quick to divide? Over what?! Has the offense committed against you superseded the offense that we have committed against God in our sinful nature? BY NO MEANS!
The essential nature of God in relation to us is that he has forgiven us of the greatest offense through Christ in order to unite us with him in a perfect love relationship. Did he do this so that those same people would treat each other like trash? Not likely. Actually, not true at all.
Unity among each other is revealed in forgiveness, repentance, grace and love, communing together despite our differences, and looking past each other’s faults to see and to show the glory of God in Christ who also forgave our faults and communes with us.
When we let petty differences, frustrations, angers, disagreements, divisions, and offenses separate us, and dissolve our unity, we do nothing but damage the picture and the message of the gospel.
So, the next time you are offended, remember the offenses for which you were forgiven by God, and unite with your fellow Christian, just as God united with you through forgiveness in Jesus.