Too many Christians think that they should simply blend in with the world, instead of being an agent of change in our society. How then should the world see us? If we look to the Bible for the answer, which we should, we see a picture of the Christian that is antithetical to the way of the world. Paul writes to the Philippian Christians:
“Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain” (Philippians 2:14-16 NKJV).
We are supposed to be so different from the world that we stand out like lights in the darkness. Our values and our morals are to be examples to the world of the difference that Jesus is making in our lives. Chuck Colson correctly observes that:
The message is clear. Non-Christians aren’t looking so much at our tracts and rallies and telecasts and books as they are looking at us and how we behave…One of the most powerful evidences of Christ’s reality is when skeptics look at the church and see a group of people, from different races and backgrounds, drawn together in supernatural unity. (Being The Body, 2003, Chuck Colson and Ellen Vaughn. p. 76, 81)
If we are truly submitted to God’s will and genuinely concerned with what He wants in our lives, then obeying Him will be of the utmost priority in our lives. We will not need a list of rules and regulations to show us what to do.
If we are seeking to know His will for our lives by being diligent in prayer and Bible study, then the Holy Spirit will show us what is right and wrong. God will give us the wisdom and the strength to do what we should be doing. Chuck Colson writes:
Harmony and oneness in spirit can be achieved only when Christians put aside their personal agendas and submit themselves to the authority of the Holy Spirit. For the Holy Spirit, who empowers the church, can never lead believers into disunity. (Being The Body, Colson and Vaughn, p. 92)
The Bible tells us that God is not the author of confusion. He will not cause dissension in the church. Human nature and sin are the cause of divisiveness (James 4:2-4). If we will follow God instead of following our own lusts and desires He will control the situation and there will not be the argumentative attitudes that would otherwise exist.
The pursuit of the Christian is to be like Christ. That’s the key to unity in the church. If all of us were like Christ, we’d have no problem getting along with each other. But unfortunately, we are not always in tune with one another because we are not all following Christ. A. W. Tozer said that if a hundred pianos were merely tuned to each other, their pitch would not be very accurate. But if they were all tuned to one tuning fork, they would automatically be tuned to each other. Similarly, unity in the church isn’t the result of running around and adjusting to everyone else. Rather, it is becoming like Jesus Christ. (MacArthur, John, The Master’s Plan for the Church, 1991, Moody Press)
The way we can live in unity, with other Christians, is to surrender to the guidance and leading of the Holy Spirit. If people see us loving one another they will want to know the source of that love. We will then have the opportunity to introduce them to Jesus. A final warning concerning unity is found in First John:
“If anyone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen” (I John 4:20 ESV).