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Psalm 133

How good and pleasant it is
    when God’s people live together in unity!

It is like precious oil poured on the head,
    running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
    down on the collar of his robe.

It is as if the dew of Hermon
    were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
    even life forevermore.

There’s a familiar story of two old Quakers who were chatting. The one said to the other, ‘You know, sometimes I think that everyone in the world is a bit off except me and thee. And sometimes I wonder about thee!’

We smile at that story because we can sometimes recognise ourselves in it. We are all prone to think, ‘I alone see things clearly and everyone else is a bit off.’

Unity among believers is a big deal in the Bible. Jesus prayed for it just before He went to the cross. And Paul talks a lot about unity in Ephesians.

The call to follow Christ through the gospel is also a call to grow in loving relationships with one another. The first and the second commandment are linked.

Walking in a manner worthy of the gospel implies a lifelong process. There will be setbacks, of course there will, but it’s how we face them that counts. While it is easier just to avoid difficult people, Paul appeals to us that we practice certain qualities when we seek to work through relational differences.

To preserve unity, we need to exercise certain qualities. Humility, Gentleness, Patience, Tolerance and most of all Love.

Wonderful relationships in the church family might not happen automatically. At some point your feelings will get hurt or you will hurt someone else’s feelings. There will be disagreements, sometimes over difficult issues. There will be personality clashes when someone gets on your nerves. ‘I’m not going to do that with them, because they don’t do this with me!’

There will be different preferences, sometimes over small matters, but sometimes over important things. To resolve these problems, we must understand how important unity is to Him we serve. He calls us to walk in a manner worthy of our calling as saints. Let’s practice these qualities that preserve unity, and who knows where God will take us!

Monday 4th of April 2016

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