Why can’t we all just get along?

July 5 – July 11

“Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the LORD has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.” Psalm 133:1-3 (ESV)

Bickering. Backbiting. Selfishness. Grudges. Fighting over things that don’t matter with family and friends — even in the church.

Disagreements happen. Arguments are inevitable. But our calling from God is to oneness — to unity with brothers and sisters in the Lord. Perhaps that is why David penned Psalm 133 for his many sons, to instruct them and encourage them to dwell together in harmony. His admonition goes beyond simply not quarreling, to a much deeper depth of relationship — delighting in one another.

The precious holy oil used in anointing that David references, was strongly perfumed. The fragrance would have been pleasant and refreshing to everyone nearby. In the same way, the aroma of getting along with, and honoring, other Christian brothers and sisters, brings joyful blessing to those who see our love for one another.

It is interesting that when Jesus prayed for us in His great High Priestly prayer in John 17, He acknowledged that the world would hate those who trust and believe in Him. The clear message is that life would be hard — even battling the “evil one”. But in verse 21, He asks His Father that “they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (ESV) Jesus understood that unity among His children would be a reality that convinces the unbelieving world of who He truly is — the Son of God.

Pastor A. T. Pierson (1837-1911) wrote, “To a true child of God, the invisible bond that unites all believers to Christ is far more tender, and lasting and precious; and as we come to recognize and realize that we are all dwelling in one sphere of life in Him, we learn to look on every believer as our brother, in a sense that is infinitely higher than all human relationships. This is the one and only way to bring disciples permanently together. All other plans for promoting the unity of the Church have failed.”

Difference in backgrounds and personality dictate that we simply will not get along with everyone. That will happen. However, as the Apostle Paul addresses this in Romans 12:18 “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” (ESV) Press through the hard times with one another.

God will give you windows of relationship restoration. Watch for them and, “as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:10 (ESV) Unity — it just might turn your life around.

Posted on: July 5, 2011, 9:42 p.m.