By Kerri-Ann Haye-Donawa
This week’s topic: Unity In The Body Of Christ
Though typical it may seem after being done so many times, I’ve always liked that part in the movie where, in efforts to hide the one being sought out for punishment, an innocent person in the group stands up and says, “I did it”, followed by another one who says, “No, I did it”, and another, “No, I did it”; on and on until everyone in the group volunteers to take the fall for a transgression only one person committed. The message at this point is usually ‘if one goes down, all go down’. Or better yet, ‘One for all, and all for one.’ This philosophy of unity has been the mantra of many groups throughout the years because it speaks of a camaraderie that fights against our selfish human instincts.
From the beginning of time – literally – jealousy has led to division between brothers. Case in point: Cain and Abel. When God asked Cain for his brother, after he’d murdered Abel in cold blood, Cain responded, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen. 4:9) The answer to that, dear Cain, is a resounding “Yes.” We are our brother’s/sister’s keeper, and as such, a level of accountability should exist between us and our brethren.
It is common knowledge that in the army, they hold the philosophy that no man should be left behind. Therefore, if someone gets wounded in battle, his fellow soldiers are trained to seek that one out and carry him to safety, whenever possible. This battlefield motto is just as relevant to the Body of Christ as it is to those who serve their countries. This is because not only are we described as soldiers in the Bible, which connotes camaraderie, but we are also referred to as ‘brethren’, which implies close familial relationship.
Christ’s vision for the Church, His Body, has always been one of a loving, compassionate family. His dream is that we would be so connected to each other in our hearts that “if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.” (1 Cor. 12:26) However, truth be told, not everyone is as loveable as we would desire them to be, and not everyone is skilled at resolving conflict; therefore, it is common to find tension and strained relationships within the confines of ministry. Nevertheless, Paul exhorts, “let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 2:5)
It is imperative that as Christians our minds are under the authority of Christ, for if left up to us and our own opinions, unity with our brethren would become an unachievable task. But through the Spirit of God and the understanding that even those of us who are hard to work with, those whose peculiar gift seems to be stepping on the figurative ‘toes’ of others, those who blatantly display their dislike for us, are a part of the Body of Christ and the grand plan of God, we can stretch ourselves and become that brother’s/sister’s keeper.
Not every member of our church has to be invited to our thanksgiving dinner, but every member should be considered a brother or a sister. In other words, when someone comes under attack by the enemy, we should express our spiritual camaraderie by covering that person to the fullest extent of our ability. Today, determine that, despite ill-feelings and ensuing tension, you will be your brother’s/sister’s keeper; for if one is hurt, all are affected and the whole is weakened.
Scripture of the Day: “And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.” – 1 Corinthians 12:26
Kerri-Ann Haye-Donawa is a writer and editor who is passionate about the word of God and how it is translated in our everyday lives. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Studies and a Master’s Degree in Theological Studies, and is a member of Rhema Christian Ministries, Toronto, Canada. http://twitter.com/#!/KHayeDonawa…