S~ So there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each of you is a part of it. 1 Corinthians 12:25-27 (NIV)
O~ Paul is teaching about the unity of the body of Christ and how we should operate by comparing us to the physical body. Just as all the parts of our physical body work together as one so should all the parts of His spiritual body. Just as the whole body suffers when one part is suffering (like a broken toe) or the whole body is blessed when one part is blessed (for example a full stomach) so it should be with His body, the church.
A~ God so desires for His children to have unity and to operate together the way our bodies do yet there is so much division. Division between denominations, division between churches, competition between churches, division and discord within individual churches and division between individual believers. This must make God sad. This is not what He wants. He wants all believers to operate as one. He wants us to be aware that when brothers and sisters on the other side of the world or on the other side of town suffer, we all suffer. He wants us to see that when a particular church or church leader (or well-known leader) is rejoicing over a blessing, we should all rejoice. It is not about competition! Why is this so hard? We struggle so much with discord, jealousy, gossip, comparison, arguments, and self-promotion. I recognize this but I also struggle with this in my own heart. We are all sinners though redeemed and I know we will struggle against sin until we are home in heaven but could we do better? Could I do better? I can repent from knowingly being a part of division and discord. I can repent of gossip and jealousy. I can seek to be filled with His Holy Spirit and in obedience rejoice when others rejoice and suffer when they suffer by keeping them in my prayers and by determining in His strength not to speak words against any other believer. I can’t do this in my strength and I can’t do it perfectly. I will fail. But praise God, He forgives and offers grace. By His grace and in His power, I can do better.
P~ Father, I confess that I have at times been a part of promoting division by my words and attitudes. Please cleanse me of this sin and fill me with your Holy Spirit. Help me in my words and actions to promote unity in your body with all my brothers and sisters around the world. Help me to see we are all one. You don’t show favoritism and you don’t see one church or person as being better that the other. We are all your children. Help us to show the world your love, as you want us to. Please exalt your name through the church.