• Catherine Gates

What We Need is Unity

Divisiveness, tension, fear, anger, hostility, conflict, mistrust, violence—read the news in mainstream media or social media and this is what you will be hit with almost daily. We’re divided by our politics. We divide ourselves over the color of our skin and ethnicity. We divide and fight over mask or no mask. We divide ourselves over how we respond to what’s happening in the world around us. And what do we get? More division!

Do you know who comes to divide and instill fear? Satan. John 10:10 tells us the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. And it’s oh so much easier for him to be successful when he lures us into being divisive, fearful and angry.

We don’t have to take his bait!

I’ve had many experiences with people at work over the years where there were misunderstandings, unmet expectations, fear of disappointing, problems beyond either party’s control that had to be dealt with—you know, the stuff that can cause stress in working relationships. And in each situation, I have been faced with this question: What’s more important? The result I want or the relationship? There is only one right answer here: the relationship is more important. People are more important.

Demonstrating love. Easing the stress. Bringing peace. Giving grace. This is what I’m called to do as a follower of Jesus, knowing that he is able to bring good out of even the most difficult and disruptive circumstances. When I put the other person first—when I got curious and made it a priority to seek to understand the other person and come to a solution that took their needs into consideration—the result was always positive. I didn’t always get what I wanted. Sometimes I got something even better. And sometimes we had to embrace our different perspectives and move on. The one consistent factor is that, with every experience, I get stronger and more resilient in how I handle challenges. Ultimately, my trust is in God that no matter what, He will turn things around for good.

John 10:10 finishes by telling us that Jesus came that we might have life and have it in abundance. Even when faced with trials, challenges and difficulties, we have access to abundant life because we follow Jesus.

What does that look like? It involves making a choice to walk in our oneness with the Father in Christ. We are called to turn to Him in all things, trust Him with all things, and obey His commands at all times. The result is that we will unleash the power of love and unity in our workplaces and communities every time.

Jesus prayed, “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 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 17:20-21).

We have to remember that we are not fighting flesh and blood, but we are fighting the enemy of our souls and his minions (Ephesians 6:12). And we have the Creator of the Universe on our side in every challenge when we turn to Him. As followers of Jesus Christ, we have the power and a responsibility to turn the tides of what we are seeing around us. How? Through our love. By choosing to live in unity with Christ and one another, accepting one another and celebrating the diversity with which we are all created in the image of God.

Love creates unity. Love provides courage, brings healing, peace, reconciliation, and restores trust. Love is what Jesus demonstrated and gave us when he went to the cross and rose again. And now the same power that rose Jesus from the dead, the Holy Spirit, lives in us. But you have to choose to tap into that power. Love is greater than the evil and hatred we see in the world. But we have to stand firm in our love and commitment to unity. We have to choose to love through difficult circumstances.

How can you bring greater unity and love into your workplace, your family and your community so people see more of Jesus and less of the enemy?

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