According to the Scriptures, unity with one another is a quality Christians should strive for:
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.“ Ephesians 4:2-3
“How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity.” Psalm 133:1
“The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we are all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” 1 Corinthians 12:12-13
The thing is, I have trouble actually acting this Christian unity out in my life. My flesh does not want to be a part of the system. My flesh wants to be unique, longs to stand out. I want to be more beautiful than everyone else. I want people to talk about how great I am when I leave a room. I want to be a pageant queen, and a model. I want to be smarter than everyone. I want my resume to stick out from the pack. I want to experience life in ways others haven’t. People should want to be like me. I want this blog post to go viral. I want to be a Youtube sensation. I want to be a talented musician who people pay money to see in concert. I want to display a “picture perfect” relationship with my boyfriend that others will be jealous of. I want to be physically strong, thin, impressive. I want to be a prima-ballerina. I wish I could be as hot as Brandon Stem (I inserted that because he wanted me to). There is a large part of me that does not desire to be unified with Him and His body; it wants to be “individual”.
In a way, this desire causes me to isolate myself from others. I think of myself as separate. Instead of desiring to work with others and encourage others and grow God’s kingdom, I go my own way. I am not saying that the Bible discourages uniqueness or individuality. The Bible clearly states that we are all unique and have different gifts and things we are called to. Rather I am saying that with these differences we can build each other up, and work together to accomplish a purpose. We work best in unity, not split off from community!
I believe what the Bible says about unity, and how it is the best way to live. Conceptually I believe it. Sometimes I have trouble believing it though, the sort of belief that leads to lifestyle change, the sort of belief that leads to a different mindset. I live by it more today than I have ever previously, but I still strive to live by it more and more. As it says in Mark 9:24: “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
I would love my life to be characterized by humility, love, and service. I want to care for others more than I care for myself, to live selflessly. I would love to experience genuine fellowship and community with fellow believers. I want to be a part of something bigger than myself.
As the Fleet Foxes song, Helplessness Blues says: “I was raised up believing I was somehow unique, like a snowflake distinct among snowflakes, unique in each way you can see. And now after some thinking, I’d say I’d rather be a functioning cog in some great machinery serving something beyond me.”