In other words…if you have the love of Christ within you, demonstrate it! Paul calls us here to be like-minded…the Greek word for this meaning the activity represented involving the will, the affections, and the conscience. This unity involves coming together as a whole in decision-making, with morally right passions, and motives. For being like-minded is thinking the same thing for the good of all, not just a few. Yes, being like-minded takes work on the part of everyone. It calls us to be peacemakers, bridge-builders, and servants to all – for His sake and for His glory.
Paul writes to the Church in Corinth about orderly worship. He stresses to them that everything be done in a fitting and harmonious way. (I Corinthians 14:40) When we see disunity within the Body, we know this is not of God…for He is the God of peace. (Romans 15:33) As Believers, we need to be seeking balance and mutual agreement…not causing turmoil and commotion just to make a point. Many a Church has faced divided factions only to self-destruct rather than build bridges of unity. And Satan smiles every time a Church self-implodes rather than attempts to reconcile the Body.
In this contentious and ever argumentative world, it’s difficult to seek peace in every situation. But the key here is found in a verse in Hebrews 12:14, ” Make every effort to live in peace with all men and be holy.” Being holy means we live in a spiritual atmosphere where grace and mercy abounds despite the hostile environment around us. It’s where we consider others before ourselves and strive to be a peacemaker not a rabble-rouser.
We are to live in harmony with all. Not with just those we like…not with those who only believe as we do. No, we are to live in peaceful co-existence with everyone. Jesus came preaching the Gospel of Peace, not that of elitism, isolation, or hatred. It’s a tough road though to love your neighbor as yourself…for many around us are unlovable. That’s why the second part of this verse is so important. We may not be able to change the unlovable around us, but we can change ourselves and how we interact with them. Sanctification or holiness is the ongoing process of becoming more like Christ Jesus everyday…of looking at all people – even the unlovable- through His eyes.
Peacemakers advocate harmony instead of hostility, agreement rather than anger, and tranquility in place of turmoil. A peacemaker will seek for the well-being of others…even if that means loving their enemies, and praying for those who persecute them. As it says in James 3:18, ” Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.”