I John 3: 23 ” And this is His command: to believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as He commanded us.”

Does the world see you as different?  The King James Version of the Bible actually calls Believers “peculiar”  in I Peter 2:9, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”  But what makes us distinctive from the rest of the world?  It’s the command to submit ourselves one to another in love and strive for unity.  For Jesus said in John 13:34-35, “A new command I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.”  We have been called to stand out from the world…to be a peculiar people…people that don’t take offense, love unconditionally, and always work towards unity.

Ephesians 4:3 ” Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

Two Scriptures that go along with this one are Romans 15:5, “May the God Who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus.” and Colossians 3:15, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.”  We are to actively endeavor to live at peace with one another…living in harmony as one collective body called the Church, of which Jesus Christ is the head.  But unity and peace can be difficult to obtain, so what can we do?  First, understand that the only person you can change is you.  That’s why Hebrews 12:14 tells us that we should make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy.  Or as the old song goes, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me…”

Hebrews 12:15 ” See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

A root of bitterness flourishes in the person that takes offense easily.  For when they feel that someone has insulted them…they react not with grace but with indignity and resentment.  And if allowed to grow, this root of bitterness leads to a wounded spirit that is of no use to God. And when this happens among Believers in a Church setting…this is when we see division and disunity.  As Believers, we need to fight for unity within the Body…not murmur, gripe, and easily take offense.