How would you describe or define unity? It means to be joined together. However, sometimes when we get closer to something we notice the imperfections of it. I had a 1998 Chevrolet Beretta that was my graduation gift. It was wrecked so we took it to my grandfather’s auto body shop to straighten the frame and build it from the ground up. This thing had a body kit on it, chrome rims with low profile tires, custom paint, a spoiler, sound system, custom door panels and carpet to match the exterior, and racing seats with harness seat belts. I loved that car. However, there was one part that didn’t get fixed. The weather stripping around the windows were cracked and lifting and should have been replaced but we just painted it. Every time I got close to my car, to wash or wax it, I saw that and it drove me crazy.
As we get older and look at ourselves closer in the mirror we notice wrinkles and age spots we wish weren’t there. My wife and I just built a house and our yard is sloped up to our house. From a distance our yard looks great, but the closer you get to it you begin to notice spots that are thin or areas without grass (especially where we plowed last winter and the grass died). You can’t see any of that from a distance though.
In life we tend to grab our binoculars and look at other people’s cars, houses, complexion, or yard and wish we had what they had. We see the imperfection of what we are close to. What I believe God wants us to do is to put down the binoculars and pick up a hose to take care of what God has entrusted to us. We need to have staying power, and not move on to what is easier or more convenient. Think about how many times people change majors in college, careers, or spouses these days.
More often than not, stories that influence the world are from men and women with staying power. David is a great example of this. When he was anointed, he was in the field tending to sheep. When he killed Goliath, he was still in the field tending to sheep. David didn’t move on until God moved him on. David could have killed Saul and taken over the kingdom, and he had the backing of the people to do so, but he had learned that he wasn’t going to move on until God moved him. David had staying power. Advancement is born out of staying power, but culture says to advance by moving. We cannot have unity in our family, workplace, team, or church unless we are committed one to another. Unity does not mean we will not disagree at times, but if we can pick up a hose and care for what God has entrusted us with (family, job, or ministry) and have staying power about us, then we will truly be able to work through those disagreements with honest and graciousness knowing we aren’t going to abandon ship when times get tough because we are joined together and we are here for one another.
Psalm 133:1 says How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity! Colossians 3:13 says Make allowance for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Let us think the best of one another instead of assuming the worst. Let’s pick up a hose and have staying power about us.