If I had to compile a list of the things that trouble me the most, the subject of unity would be right near the top. I find myself thinking about unity more than almost anything else. The amount of extreme polarization in the world today ensures it’s always on my mind. And “extreme” is by no means an exaggeration.
Frequently I wonder, how do I reconcile with neighbors, friends, and family, if their convictions differ to such an extreme that our views are not just incompatible, they’re true polar opposites?
To state it again, many of those around us hold fast to values that one could describe without exaggeration as being completely corrupt, evil, and utterly abhorrent. But those individuals themselves could not, and most certainly should not be described that way. We’re divided now more than ever before, but our neighbors are not our enemies, even though many would have us believe it.
I hurt when I think about it. I find myself trying to come up with my own solution, but it leaves me feeling angry one moment and sad the next. It burdens me because I’m trying to figure it out on my own.
Ephesians 6:12 has never felt more relevant. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
All people are compelled by their own set of values, but all can be so easily deceived. This isn’t “Us vs. them.” This isn’t “We’re better” or, “If only we could make everyone think like we do.”
All have sinned, all have fallen short.
We live in a world that’s sick. Everywhere there’s a cancer growing: in families, in governments, and even in some churches.
It feels overwhelming. But it’s not the end of the story.
Our love of the truth, without which we would be given a “working of error,” renders the darkness powerless. Many are deceived. But our love for them is not diminished. We are tired. But we are made strong in our faith. Our love of the truth is our shield.
Naturally speaking, our hearts are a vacuum. Unless filled with truth and love, we become a home for bitterness. As we focus on Jesus, the anger will fade and the sadness will abate.
So let’s enter the Sabbath with these truths held fast, and remember to be joyful.
Go in faith, go in love.