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We love the idea of “unity” don’t we? It’s such a nice sounding word. It’s one of those “feel good” words. We often toss the word around believing it’s what we are seeking. But when we think about it, we sometimes confuse uniformity for unity. We have in our minds that unity is experienced in uniformity. But there is a universe of difference between the two.

Uniformity says, “We must all think alike.”

Unity says, “We may not all think alike, but we can all think in the same direction.”

Uniformity does not allow for respectful differences of opinion or understanding.

Unity welcomes and respects differences in opinion and understanding.

Uniformity refuses to see an issue from any angle but its own, which is myopic and often driven by selfishness.

Unity invites different angles of understanding and encourages “big picture” thinking and is intent on being guided by open-mindedness and respect.

Uniformity focuses on “getting my way, at any cost.”

Unity focuses on “what can I sacrifice for the good of the whole?”

Uniformity seeks to shut down open, honest discussion and ideas.

Unity embraces open, honest discussion.

Uniformity often works in the dark so as not to be challenged.

Unity gladly works in the open for all to see, hiding nothing, and denouncing secrecy.

Uniformity offers no supportive evidence to its claims.

Unity makes certain its claims have valid support.

The list could go on. There is no evidence in scripture that Jesus requires his disciples to be uniform in their beliefs or ideas. What Jesus does require of his disciples is to love above all else.

Are you guided by uniformity or by unity?


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