“And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” Col 3:14-15
Nothing warms a parent’s heart more than to see our children walk hand in hand together—loving one another. In much the same way, our Father in heaven is delighted when we walk hand in hand united together. We shine as children of God. The other day as the boys and I were walking to our car from church, my three-year-old merrily raced ahead of me to catch up to his big brother. They held hands together until we got to our car. It brought a bright smile to my face. One of my prayers for my sons is that they would genuinely love and befriend one another. They are being trained at home to show love and kindness to each another. Meanwhile, in the world, it is socially accepted as normal for siblings to fight and rival each other. It is often excused, “They are just kids, they’ll grow out it” If kids grow out of it, why do we see so much bickering in the adult world? We’ve all inherited the propensity within our sinful nature to grow up and fight and devour on another—dare I say, even in the church. Why?
God speaks to this in James 4:1-2, “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.” We fight when we desire to get our dreams fulfilled more than Christ and thus forfeit the peace he offers to us and to each other. Christ gives us peace, in that he died for all our sins and rose from the dead canceling that enormous sin debt we owed through faith in Jesus’ sin sacrifice on our behalf. Our call is to die to ourselves, to our sin, and allow Him to live and rule in our hearts. Anything that we seek more than Christ, is liable to cause us to sin. When Christ peace reigns our affections, we will be thankful for all He ordains and see every detail as from the hand of a loving Father.
Instead of fighting for our rights as Christians we must realize that the only thing we rightly deserve is God’s wrath. Then, we may work together to the same goal of loving Jesus and each other more than looking out for our own interests. Sibling rivalry creates hostility in the home, a place that should be a refuge from the world. There is enough dissension and hate in the world. Likewise, Christian rivalry creates hostility in our church home, a place that should be a refuge from the world. The church especially should be marked by love and unity. Loving Christ and loving fellow believers go hand in hand.
Our Loving Abba, you alone are worthy of our complete affections. May we seek your perfect will and align our desires with yours. Forgive and root out the main cause of disunity in your beloved church—our sin. Grant us more love for Christ and for our brothers and sisters that we’d humbly walk hand in hand and honor you, our heavenly Father. In Jesus’ name.