Once I saw in a Peanuts cartoon Lucy demand that Linus change TV channels, threatening him with her fist if he didn’t. “What makes you think you can walk right in here and take over?” Linus asked. “These five fingers,” said Lucy. “Individually they’re nothing but when I curl them together like this into a single unit, they form a weapon that is terrible to behold.” “Which channel do you want?” asked Linus. Turning away, he looked at his fingers and said, “Why can’t you guys get organized like that?”
We all know that in unity there is power. Yet, when we speak about unity, is there a sense of neglecting it? Do we really live as if unity is important to us? What will it look like if we treat unity as truly important?
Our Scripture today comes from the apostle Paul. He says, “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12) What I want to focus on today is those two words: put on. In the parallel passage in Ephesians 4, Paul uses the words “implore” and “be diligent”. These words speak of being intentional rather than being thoughtless. In other words, I approach my relationships with my fellow Christians thoughtfully. I care about the consequences of my words, actions, and attitudes. I care about the long-term consequences as well as the short-term ones.
Thoughtlessness looks like words spoken in anger. Thoughtlessness looks like actions that do not consider others and their feelings or perspectives. Thoughtlessness looks like me harboring bitterness or refusing to forgive. These are thoughtless actions. God asks us to be thoughtful. He asks us to protect one another. He asks us to live like we both understand the power of unity and the investment required to protect it.
So, unity is important to the church. Protect it there. Unity is important to the home as well. Protect it there. Be the person who will do it. You will be amazed at your success with others.
Your challenge: Unity begins with me when I make the choice to protect it.