Unity or Conformity

Ephesians 4:3

“eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

When leaders speak of unity, I cringe. The first question that comes to mind is how do you define unity? For most control freak managers and organizational leaders, their definition is really you being conform to their way of thinking.

For real unity is built upon the values and teachings of the Holy Spirit. Conformity is built upon the exterior facade of dress and behavior.

Anyone can look like they are in step with you by their appearance, words, or just high-stepping like the armies on parade. But are they in agreement with the values and principles which lay the foundation of unity?

As a Christ-follower, I am not impressed with empty rhetoric, but with actions built on spiritual truth. When a person has surrendered their Will and Heart and Mind to Lord Jesus, the Spirit becomes more and more noticeable through the mannerism and attitude of the Believer.

Instead of pride, humility becomes more and more noticeable. One doesn’t need to ridicule or disrespect the other so the self may feel justified. But God is allowed to become the center of the relationship. Humility is simply trusting God will deal with the situation better than you can.

Instead of lies to cover up, honesty with transparency is the norm. If people cannot handle the truth, then surround yourself with those who can. Healthy leadership admits one’s weakness and is not afraid of the consequences of revealing themselves.

Instead of uncontrollable behavior, self-control is practiced. For example, to live within one’s means rather than spend more than one earns, is stealing from others. When a country spends more than it receives from their taxpayers, they are simply stealing from future constituents. The same can be said with food. A glutton takes food away from others and only shows their lack of self-control. Without self-control, a person will eventually harm themselves and others along the way.

It is easy to nod your head in agreement, be politically correct, and drive the culturally impressive car. But is your heart ONE with God?

When two people are one with God, they may disagree on many issues. But they have deepened respect for the other person and seek to maintain peace with them. What unifies them is their God and the values HE represents. Rather than seek exterior conformity, they search for common ground being unified in Spirit. They realize the relationship is just as important than the facts. The challenge is to maintain the unity of the Spirit while seeking out the best solution.

When two people are not in agreement with the Spirit, the discussion first becomes a battle between values. If the values cannot be agreed upon, then force is required. Whenever power is exercised without agreement, war eventually ensues.

Conformity ignores the values and instead exercises force and power to get their way. In the short term, they will get their way. In the long term, it will lead to a revolution.

Bottom-line: Unity is built on values and the result is long lasting; conformity is built by force and is short lived and destructive in the long term.  As I have repeated witnessed and learned the hard way, everything worthwhile begins when the Triune God is the center of your foundation.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360!
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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