Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.

1 Peter 3: 8

 

There is one very important thing that should distinguish God’s people from the rest of our world. Followers of Christ are to be like Him; that is, we are to live in a manner that is closer than others do to the way that God intended for people to live in His original design for creation. When God made people in His image, the significant aspects of that crafting were not a strong chin or a commanding voice; rather, the deeper qualities of character were what truly mattered. We were to be loving, merciful, gracious, kind, gentle, and understanding with each other. We were also to be humbly submitted to God’s authority and mutually submitted to each other in much the same manner as that great and complex relationship that exists between the three persons of God.

 

It is in likeness of this relationship wherein Father, Son, and Spirit each operate in vital and powerful ways while they are still one being as God that people are called upon to live. This means that we each have special and even specific gifts and talents that we are given by God. We also possess interests and passions that drive us into the development and the utilization of all that God granted to us. Additionally, in what might be viewed as divine perversity but what is probably more simply an outworking of the great range of expression of that God image, we humans are a wildly diverse lot. Since we also have existed and continue to dwell in a world where sin and evil operate as an intentionally disruptive force, God’s gift of diversity has been turned into tension, distrust, and violence so that the ordained unity of people is disrupted and broken.

 

In response to the destruction of relationship and so of creation, itself, God the Father sent Jesus the Christ into this world. He calls all people out of our isolation, fear, and distrust and into the peaceful harmony of life within God’s kingdom of truth, grace, and healing love. Followers of Christ are to be different from our neighbors because we are to be unified in ways that are strange and even mysterious to the rest of our world. In Christ we are called into a form of oneness that is formed in our spirits and that should become the passion of our hearts as we know God and come to understand His desire for us to live in true unity. If we are to dwell fully as people who exist in that God image design of our creation, then there is ample opportunity for us to be different and to express our uniqueness, but there is no room for us to allow those differences to divide or to disrupt our unity in Christ.