I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 1 Corinthians 1:10
1 Corinthians is a letter written by Paul to the church in Corinth, which was a church he founded and a people he loved. Word got to him that there were issues arising, so he penned this letter to help them navigate through the conflicts God’s way. The first issue he chose to address was division based on leadership. Some claimed they followed Paul, their founding pastor, while others claimed they followed Apollos who was known as a man of great power and gifts, others said they followed Cephas/Peter, and others said they followed Christ. This argument created factions within the church ultimately leading to division and disunity. It was their pride that fueled this allegiance to their leaders, as the motivation was less about the greatness of their leaders and more about “their” greatness for choosing and following these leaders. Paul, knowing that the division would cause harm and destruction to personal relationships and the church, advised them to:
- Agree with one another
- Let there be no divisions
- Be perfectly united in mind and thought.
One commentator writes, “The ancient Greek word for divisions is “schismata”…which means “tear or rend.” Paul’s plea is that they stop ripping each other apart, tearing up the body of Christ.” Paul reminds them that Jesus is the One to be followed, Jesus is the Savior, and Jesus is not divided.
If we were honest, this same struggle exists in our churches today. We don’t have to look far to see evidence of cliques and division, and Paul’s plea is vital to the health of our churches and ministries. Stop ripping each other apart, stop tearing up the body of Christ, and choose unity. Stop taking sides, cease the judging, and avoid the trivial arguments. Choose peace, choose love, and choose unity. Choose what really matters which is unity in the name of Jesus.
So, today, may we ask God to examine our hearts and free us from pride, judgment, and division. Today, may we pursue peace and unity at all costs. Today, may we stop ripping each other apart, and may we begin encouraging, blessing and building each other up. Today, may we choose to afford others grace, love, and forgiveness, as we have been given those things freely from Jesus, and may we see God move in our churches, our ministries, and our families as we choose unity.
Jesus, please forgive us for our pride that leads to factions, division, and disunity. Please grant us a greater perspective and understanding, so we can see beyond our emotions and choose peace and unity. May You be honored as we extend grace, may You be glorified as we give love, and may You send Your blessing as we choose unity. In Your name, Amen!