Fresh Hope – 8th January 2020

In Psalm 133, unity is described as being like ‘precious oil’. The thing about precious oil in this context is that it would have smelt really good. Unity carries a spiritual fragrance. When the world looks at the church and sees a picture of unity in diversity – the smell is beautiful and attractive. 

Being a Christian and growing up in the church, you get used to the sweet smell of unity. It becomes normal. I’m not saying the church is completing protected and void from any kind of division, but when a culture of unity is promoted it becomes the standard – building alongside different people, and overlooking silly differences for a greater cause. 

Substitute God’s model of unity, and I have been shocked at times at how quickly people outside a ‘unity mentality’, can get offended over petty matters, are quick to cut off relationships, ‘unfollow’ if someone challenges what they consider right, or struggle to work with people who are different. God’s love changes how we do relationships, confrontation and boundaries. 

There is beauty in diversity operating in unity. Imagine trying to create a powerful car that was only made of only steering wheels? Impossible! Imagine a functioning body of only hands? Impossible! Power and function comes through diversity working together! 

We don’t tolerate different kinds of people, we celebrate the differences because we couldn’t actually function without them. Diversity is necessary and healthy. 

On its own a car brake is interesting, but has no power. On its own a steering wheel has great potential, but has no power. On its own, an engine is a great concept, but it has no power. 

On our own, we have no power. Without being unified with those different to us, we lack power and purpose. Our purpose is found in our connection and function with others. One part is not better than the other. To reach my fullest potential, I need you, and equally you need me to reach yours!

Although it isn’t very fashionable to talk about the Devil, he does exist and he is on a sneaky mission to bring division to relationships. We can think a person is bringing division, but actually it is the distracting work of the enemy. Remember that we are not in a flesh and blood battle, but a spiritual one (Ephesians 6:12).  If your words or actions aren’t promoting love, celebrating people who are different, and carrying the fragrance of unity, think about whose work you are advancing.

Let unity be one of the highest values we esteem in our lives and in the church!

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.