GOOD AND PLEASANT
"How good and pleasant it is when brothers live
together in unity!"
you ever think that not everything that is good is also pleasant and that not
everything that that's pleasant is also good? It's true, of course. There are
lots of things; discipline, exercise, taking our medicine, etc. that are good
for us, but not really enjoyable. Likewise lots of things; eating multiple
pieces of chocolate cake at a single sitting, sleeping late when there is work
to be done, going to a movie instead of to the dentist, for example, may be
pleasant but they aren't beneficial. What a great thing it is when what we want
to do is good AND pleasant. That is what Christian unity (what our forefathers
called the "communion of the saints") is; good and it is pleasant.
How do I know it is good? I know because the unity of the church is the focus of Jesus' prayer in John 17. In vv. 11, 20-23 Jesus prayed to the Father: “I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name—the name you gave me—so that they may be one as we are one. . . My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” OK, unity in the church is good, but is it pleasant? Yes, provided that we live it out.
I ran across a list of 5 things that destroy Christian unity. I think they are right on the money. Here they are:
· Grumbling (the activity of those who criticize after the work is done rather than help plan before the work begins).
· Judging (the activity of those who would rather evaluate than participate).
· Lying (the work of those who try to cover up mistakes rather than admit and correct them).
· Slandering (the pastime of those who’d rather talk about others than talk to them).
· Gossiping (The unhelpful business of spreading bad reports rather than sharing words of encouragement).
Pastor Keith Andrews