Billy's Blog
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August 26, 2016, 9:57 AM

Embracing Unity

Chaos is everywhere! 

During my first mission trip to the Dominican Republic I was just shocked at the chaos on the roads. There didn't seem to be any lanes, any rules, people just drove wherever and whenever they wanted. It seemed like the only thing that controlled the chaos was their horn. People let you know where they were with their horn and this way you didn't crash into each other. I was so glad to get back to America where I thought the roads were chaotic, but were much more peaceful!

Romans 12:16 says, Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 

Harmony and unity are very much alike. They are all about taking things that are different and bringing them together. Why don't we just be people that embrace unity and harmony? How about we be people that brings people together? So how do we do this? 

Well, remember that when we are dealing with bringing people together that not all people want to be brought together. Some people will refuse to have peace and unity in their lives. But...before we get too negative, I believe most people want this. I believe most people would love to have this if they had the opportunity to have it. So let's go!

Romans 14 is all about a church in chaos. They are having a hard time agreeing and coming together. What you will notice is that it's ok to disagree. It's okay to have different opinions, it's just not okay to let those difference divide us. So here's some straight Biblical advice on how to bring people together. 

1. Accept people--Romans 14:1

Romans 15:7 tells us that we must accept others as Christ accepted us. When you came to Christ he loved you as you were...warts and all. He didn't make you change. He didn't make you do anything differently he just accepted you and loved you as is. The same is true of what we must do. We have a natural tendency to want people to be like us or we just don't like them or accept them. If we are to find unity among the chaos we must learn to accept people despite the differences we may have. 

2. Don't judge people--Romans 14:10

Paul helps us understand what judging is. Judging is NOT pointing out obvious sin. If a man is running out of a store with a TV he has not purchased and you yell out, "Put that down! You are stealing that TV!" He cannot respond, "How dare you judge me?!" If you will read Romans 14:10 you will see a word in there, contempt. When you judge someone sinfully you have a self-righteous attitude about them. You are putting yourself above them, because in your mind you would never do what they are doing. Or you may be trying to judge the motives of their heart which we are not qualified to do. Judging people from a distance widens that gap. We are pulled apart rather than brought together. 

3. Do what you can to bring peace and build people up--Romans 14:19

The word, edification, is a construction term. It means to build something up that was once torn down. Life tears people down. You can even see it physically in some people. They are slouched over, they won't lift their head, they won't make eye contact. They are so emotionally and spiritually beat down that their body looks beat down, too. What if we were people that helped people walk a little straighter? What if instead of tearing down we decided to lift up?

4. Don't hit SEND--Romans 14:22

In our world of social media we have such an opportunity to voice things that don't help anyone, and frankly hurts a lot of people. Behind a keyboard people get really brave. We've all probably typed things behind a computer or a phone that we would never say to someone's face. Paul is telling us to just quit hitting send. We don't have air every opinion, every thought, every disagreement. Some things are better left unsaid. 

If you practice these four things in your life you will be a peacemaker. You will be a unifier and a harmonizer. You will be a person that builds people up. We need a lot more people like this in a world full of chaos. 

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