Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. (Eph. 4:3)

ONCE UPON A TIME the church had been thriving. A strong pastor with the gift of encouragement made everyone feel important and valued. He led and his people followed, excited to be part of the ministry of making a difference in their community. Sadly, when he resigned, the supposed unity the congregation had known began to crumble. Different factions sought to fill the power vacuum that now existed. Convinced that their way was not just the best way but the only way, they sought to impose their agenda on the rest of the congregation.

No longer united in purpose, the congregation was now divided into opposing camps. Some chose to silently follow the group that appeared to have the most support. Others sowed discontent over the emerging new leadership. Still others left to join another church or, disillusioned over what they had witnessed, left the church entirely.

“We major on the minors,” someone has said. It’s true! Instead of focusing on the most important things that need to unite us, we can all too easily get hung up on things that don’t really matter—on the things that divide us rather than unite us. But God’s Word tells us to “make every effort” to strive for and maintain unity. How? By following His Spirit, not our wants and desires. Only then will His peace bond us together like superglue.

Examine your heart and ask God to help you work for unity.

Marlene Bagnull celebrated fifty-one years of marriage. She and Paul have three grown children and three grandchildren. She directs two Christian writers’ conferences.