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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Segmentation or Coherence?

blessed 1

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Galatians 3:28 ESV

In the apostle’s Paul’s world, there was a Jewish prayer that thanked God for not being a gentile, slave, or female. For being in any one of these categories was looked down upon by the traditional Jewish religious leaders. As was and still is the custom, humanity likes to categorize each other into certain groups. Usually our view is determined by our position in life. It was no different in Paul’s time. If one was Jewish, they were superior to the gentile. If one was a free person, they were superior to the slave. If one was a male, they were superior to a female. Yet Paul, in writing to the Galatians stated that one is not superior to the other; that superiority lies in Christ and we are all on even ground in our relationship with Him.

What does this mean to us in the twenty-first century?

If we are followers of Christ, then we know that He died for the whole world. That mankind has been forgiven before even asking to be forgiven. That God has re-opened the door for mankind to have a direct relationship with Him. Theology defines this as justification.

So what does this mean in practical terms?

Simply that no matter what your nationality, station in life, or sexual orientation, Christ died for you. In dying, he redeemed the entire human race. That includes you, me, and every person who is alive, died, and yet to be born. He makes us brothers and sisters one to another. He provides an even playing field for everyone. Whether we serve in churches, nonprofit organizations, educational institutes, medical, governmental, or the business industry, we know deep inside that the absolute final authority is Christ Himself. As representatives of His domain, we walk with Him working to redeem relationships, values, and structures. We are servants of the King, called to partner with Him in His work restoring creation to His original intent.

Segmentation is how this world’s system categorizes people, ideas, and events. Christ came so that we could focus first on Him. When we make Him the central core of life, we see how He breakdowns the walls that prevents us from loving each other, blessing each other, and serving each other. Over time, walking with Him in the Spirit, we come to the realization that universal coherence only comes by being fully engaged in Christ. Or is this simply just too radical for one to accept?

We are rooting for you!

Yours in Christ,

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married

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