Unfortunately, we currently seem more focused on what separates us than on what unites us. God's family includes people from different countries, ethnic backgrounds, political parties, denominations, cultural views, languages, and faith traditions. Despite these differences, we are blessed with the gift of belonging to each other because we belong to Jesus. We sure don't act like it sometimes. We will never reach our potential for sharing the gospel of grace and love if we spend our time drawing lines in the sand, arguing, and demanding that everyone think exactly like we do on every single issue.
To practice healthy faith, we need to focus on how we are connected to one another. There are so many ways our lives are intertwined with our brothers and sisters in Christ. When we concentrate our energies on the great truths we hold in common, we become an unstoppable force for impacting our communities and our world with unstoppable grace. When we practice intentional unity, we are empowered to encourage and love one another, share the gospel with joy, minister to those in need, feed the hungry, clothe the poor, heal the sick, and welcome the stranger in the name of Jesus who said, "In as much as you have done something for one of the least of these, you have done it for me." Matthew 25:40 NIV
You can scream and argue all you want. I opt to look for the things that unite us. I choose to respect wherever you are in your faith journey. I will not require you to be in the same place on the path as me. I will not focus on divisive ploys. I will not belittle. I will not judge or condemn. Instead, I will focus on all the ways we are connected. We are united by the grace of Jesus, by the unconditional love of the Father, and by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We may not have gone to the same high school (although it wouldn’t surprise me a bit to find out you graduated from Ensley), but if we belong to God, we belong to each other. And that is more than enough to propel me toward the kind of unity that helps me live a faith of hope and joy.