This week, we watched in horror as young children were murdered in a place that should have been a safe place filled with positive experiences. In just a few days prior this, there was the report of unassuming shoppers being murdered in Buffalo as they entered their local grocery store. And in both cases, the gunmen were only eighteen. It begs us to ask the question, in a world with so much division, is unity even possible?
One of my new year’s resolutions this year is to read the entire bible, from the beginning to the end. I invited my family to join me on this journey and gifted everyone with a new bible instead of a typical gift for Christmas.
Although I haven’t been as disciplined in my daily readings as I started out in January, I did begin reading in the book of Genesis and have made it to Deuteronomy, skipping to the New Testament from time to time to get some inspiration as the Old Testament can be dark and sometimes scary.
In the beginning things start out very hopeful right? In Genesis 1:3-5 God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. God saw the light as good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light ‘day,’ and the darkness he called ‘night.’ And there was evening, and there was morning- the first day. In the first chapter of the bible, on the first day of creation, we are introduced to separation.
God goes on to create an amazing world and begins to fill it with color and life. He creates man and designs them to be in relationship with Him and each other, it seems like everything is headed in a good direction.
Then we are introduced to the first humans, Adam and Eve, who break their relationship with God and introduce brokenness into the world. Unfortunately, we see this brokenness in the relationships with their own children as their eldest son, Cain, becomes jealous of his brother and commits the first murder. It’s disheartening to have a brother so jealous that he kills his own brother, and we’re still only in the first book of the bible.
You see the Bible is the story of our broken world and God’s plan to heal and unite us. But time and time again we find ways to create conflict or experience pain because of our choices. Even on devastating matters that should bring us together like the random acts of shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, we still find ways to be divided.
In my own family I have experienced lots of loss this year, not through death, but through years of divisive behaviors and conflict. My heart has been broken into many pieces leaving me questioning myself and my own worth. I haven’t spoken to many of my loved ones in months and there have been days when I didn’t know how I could make it through.
So, the question I have is – in a world that is so divided, is unity even possible?
God’s plan for us is to unite us, not to divide. When you teach children to hate others because of the color of their skin- that’s divisive. When you talk about people behind their backs – that’s divisive. When you judge others for their perceived wrongdoings- it’s divisive.
God gave his only son, Jesus, who died so that he could break down these walls of division and offer us peace and unity through God. But we cannot have that peace if we continue to be separated from God.
In Corinthians 15:31, Paul says “I affirm, brethren, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily” (NASB). Which means we must give up our desires, our divisive ways, our judgements of ourselves and others, our negative perceptions, and find peace with HIM.
It’s only when we realize that our lives are not meant to be lived solely for our own good, but to be used in service to others, so that we become one with God and we begin to unite ourselves with the world.
We were born divided (Flesh/Spirit). However, each day we get to choose which part of ourselves we will feed more – our light or our darkness.
I’ve spent several years putting so much emphasis on the relationship I have with my mother, my father, my children, my husband and yet the one relationship I failed to prioritize was my relationship with God, which is the only relationship that will bring true peace.
As I continue to work through my own pain, I’ve learned that if I can have peace with God, I can seek peace with others (even those who have hurt me) through his spirit. I've learned that when the world around me seems to be falling apart, my peace and unity, is always in my relationship with Him.
Let’s all thrive to be in unity with God so that we can create peace not only in our own lives, but in our world.
Make it a great week or not. The choice is always yours.
Author, Motivational Speaker, Chief Culture Cre8or