The trouble is that the old saying "better together" is only half true. "What?", I hear you say....it almost sounds like treason doesn't it, but I think it's the truth. Things are better together when we have the same vision, goals and aspirations. When we can agree on something and find the corporate will to make it happen, then collaboration and working together is fantastic! - I love being a part of that stuff! However, when we are driven by conflicting motivations, or working to partisan agendas, then sometimes it's better, and more productive, for us to act separately.
"But...", I hear you cry, "as Christians aren't we meant to be all about unity?" Well, yes, we are about unity, but unity does not mean uniformity. It doesn't mean that we necessarily look like, act like or even think like others. The kind of unity that Jesus talked about was far different - on a whole different level from the talk of collaboration that often surrounds us. For Jesus unity was rooted in truth and holiness and modelled after the unity shown through His relationship with the Father. Take a look at part of Jesus' prayer in John 17:17-21:
"Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth. I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me."
Unity rooted in truth and holiness and modelled after the unity that God the Son, and God the Father shared - a unity found in the Triune Godhead of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Any other form of unity is ok(ish)...it can help us achieve a goal or perhaps accomplish some outcomes, but it is nothing like the REAL unity Jesus talks about which is only found in intimate relationship with and through God.
So let's not try to look like everyone else and call it unity, instead let's strive to be united in love with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Let's seek to live out truth and holiness as we relate to God and others expressing the kind of unity that can change the world. What do you think?
Grace and Peace, Pastor David Auty