Over the past several months we have leaned heavily on the wise words from Romans 12:10, to Love one another with brotherly affection and to outdo one another in showing honor. These words should be etched in every aspect of your life as a constant reminder of the grace that God has given you. Today, as the political races start to ramp up, with decisions about schools, travel, COVID restrictions, and the civil unrest of social injustice and riots still going strong, we need to cling to these words of showing honor even more.

Last week I received a phone call from a political campaign, from someone who has almost completely different political ideals than me. My first thought was to hang up on them, but instead, I listened. I politely disagreed with their stances and asked them to explain their views and the why behind them. We had a great dialogue and we ended the call with an appreciation for each other taking the time to explain each other’s views in a kind and respectful way.

What happened to the days when we could respectfully disagree?

Actually, I don’t think this is a new problem. We just see and hear about it so much more today.

In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi, he had to essentially beg two women, whom he loved and had the great pleasure of serving Christ with, to get along and remain united for Christ.

I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.” Philippians 4:2-3 (ESV)

The Bible doesn’t tell us what their issue was. I think that is on purpose so that we can apply this to any issue instead of thinking it only applies in a certain circumstance. The fact remains that our unity and our ability to get along even if we disagree is important to the gospel message. Jesus in His last days asks His Father, “that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” John 17:21 (ESV) Our unity, our resolve to get along, will speak loudly to a divisive world and show that there is hope—that hope is Jesus Christ.
So what do we do with this? This is a whole lot easier to say than to do.

Or is it?

Again, in Philippians, Paul tells us to follow in the example of Christ. Philippians 2:2 says, “complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”  Having the same mind and the same love go hand in hand in true unity. Love goes beyond the political, educational, cultural, and even racial tensions. “Love one another” solves all these issues. You can’t hate anyone for any reason if you truly love them.

Today, as you struggle through the issues at hand, as you wrestle with the angry flesh, remember to love beyond limits. Choose to show honor instead of any of the other emotional responses that lead to division. It will likely take a lot of work, and a lot of time in prayer and in God’s Word, but it is that important.

Of One Mind Together in Christ,

Hospitality and Family Ministries Director