“…being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Eph. 4:3)
There are a lot of interesting ideas in this verse and the first is the idea that the task is not going to be an easy one. No, in fact, diligence will be required. This job will require some work on the faithful saints’ part. It won’t just happen on its own so the Christian is charged with being diligent.
The second interesting idea in this verse is the choice of action required to accomplish the task. I say that because most Christians read this to say create or cause unity. The truth is, God created unity. Division or non-unity is a mankind thing. We don’t have to make unity we just have to keep it as status quo.
As a faithful saint, I must watch what I say. My words can cause division to occur. I can break the unity of the Spirit by saying things that divide.
As a faithful saint, I must watch what I do. My actions can cause division to occur. I can cause dis-unity by my behavior or even my body language.
As a faithful saint, I must speak up for unity. Preserving unity means an active role for me. When I see division coming I must speak up for the unity of the Spirit. If a brother or sister is causing division I must go to them and ask them to stop their wrongful activity. It is my job as a member of the body to speak and act for unity.
Division is the enemy of the church. When the unity of the Spirit is not kept in the bond of peace Satan wins a great victory. In my experience, most division has been the result of selfishness. Someone insists on having things their way regardless of the cost. The other someone refuses to give in because they want to have things their way regardless of the cost.
Church splits are terrible things. Rendering the body of Christ through division is a terrible failure of faithful saints. The faithful Christian must do all within their power to preserve the unity of the Spirit. They must accomplish this difficult task in peaceful ways. Christians are peacemakers by definition and when they are involved in division they cease to function in their rightful way.
The Word enjoins us to be diligent to preserve unity. We must say unifying things at all costs. We must act in unifying ways at all times. Our banner must be the white flag of truce. Our weapons in this fight are humility, gentleness with patience, tolerance for each other and all of this motivated only by love.
Task for today: Say or do only those things that preserve God’s peaceful unity. How pleasant it is to walk together as one.