Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus.

Romans 15: 5

 

Seeking to have the same mind, to think like and to act like others, does not mean that we are to be mindless and conformist. After all, we are made in God’s image, and we have the mind of Christ living in us through the Spirit. We have an imperative from God to act for Him out of our understanding and to be persuasive in our presentation of God’s truth. Thus, God wants us to be thinkers, processors of information, and people who form clear opinions about what we believe and why we believe it.

 

Still, God desires for His children to seek to be unified in our faith and to function as one organism. He tells us to present an undivided and singularly focused face to the world. This is a serious challenge, for people do hold to numerous beliefs, and there are many styles and approaches to expressing our faith through worship. The challenge is thrown down to us in just how tightly we hold onto our personal perspective of these secondary aspects of our faith; thus, our beliefs can become a source of division, causing separation, and leading to dissension and distrust. When this is the result, the beauty and the power of our witness for Christ is buried under a mound of rotting debris.

 

In fact, this is where we need to stick to the discussion with others even when it is hard. As Paul says, we need to persevere, and we need to seek to understand, to embrace, and to encourage the faith of others, too. There is one simple truth that comes to mind regarding the differences that exist in and among the body of Christ, and that is that the mind of Christ is not conflicted. He is unified, and His call to us is to likewise be unified. Seeking this sort of unity requires hard work and a soft heart. It doesn’t always happen quickly, but when it does, the glory of Christ’s love is revealed.