Unity Doesn't Mean We Agree On Everything

     Because I am opinionated and stubborn, I tend to learn most things the hard way. I am making a conscious effort to listen to experience and wise counsel. To think things through before running full speed ahead. To pray without my own agenda. But I am still sometimes opinionated, stubborn, and prone to just barrel over people without ever meaning to do any harm.

     One thing that I have learned the hard way is that choices can be extremely polarizing and divisive. 

     I often feel so strongly about a choice, decision, or viewpoint that I develop the mindset that it is the only right choice, decision, or viewpoint. I also often feel that others who believe their choices are best are judging me because my choices are different. This makes it difficult to not hurt each other. It makes authentic sharing a mine field. It makes true fellowship and even basic civility a heavy and oppressively hard thing to manage.

     There are so many choices that we make on a daily basis and opinions that we have. How we educate our children, how we parent our children, what church we go to, who we support in politics, what we think of healthcare options, our choice of career, what we choose to eat and not to eat, what products we use, how we dress, and so on. We make choices and have opinions. And others make choices and have opinions. And more often than not, those choices and opinions are not the same.

     Thinking differently should not always divide us. Choosing differently should not always divide us.

     I am NOT saying that we should be so tolerant that we lose hold of what we actually stand for. Or that we should just be okay with things we don't believe in. But rather we should stand strongly for our beliefs in such a way that we become leaders and encouragers instead of judgemental, condescending, jerks. 

     Unity does not mean that we have to agree on everything. Unity means that we choose to get past the barrier of our differences enough to allow our souls to reach out to each other and connect. 

     It takes effort. It takes practice. It doesn't come naturally. Believe me I know this. But let's be boldly beautiful in our interactions with each other. Let's intentionally focus on unity rather than division.