“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! For there the LORD has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.”
Psalm 133:1, 3b (ESV)
Bickering. Backbiting. Selfishness. Grudges. Disagreements and full-fledged arguments. Fighting over things that don’t matter with family and friends, even (and sometimes especially) in the church. We all experience these realities of being in relationships with others. We are each unique and so too are our opinions and approaches, our personalities and habits.
However, despite these realities, our calling from God is to oneness – to unity with our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Perhaps that is why David penned Psalm 133 for his many sons, to instruct them and encourage them to dwell together in harmony. His admonition goes beyond simply not quarreling, to a much deeper depth of relationship – delighting in one another.
It is interesting that when Jesus prayed for us in His great High Priestly prayer in John 17, He acknowledged that the world would hate those who trust and believe in Him. The clear message is that life would be hard. As a follower of Jesus, we are automatically engaged in a battle against our enemy, Satan, and one of his primary means of attack is by causing dissension in the body of Christ. But in verse 21, Jesus 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” (ESV). Jesus understood that unity among His children would be a reality that convinces the unbelieving world of who He truly is – the Son of God.
Differences in backgrounds and personality dictate that we simply will not get along with everyone at all times. However, as the Apostle Paul urges us in Romans 12:18 (ESV) that “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all,” be determined to press through the hard times with one another.
God will give you windows of relationship restoration. Watch for them and, “as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:10 (ESV)