Last night I got to join some new friends at their house to hang out, spend time getting to know each other better, and then fire up the mics, instruments, and amps and sing and play together until it was time to go home.
How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil that was poured over Aaron’s head, that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe. Harmony is as refreshing as the dxew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion. And there the Lord has pronounced his blessing, even life everlasting.
Psalms 133:1-3 NLT
Some translations here use the word unity here instead of harmony, and I like both. Because I see the need for both words in order for someone to really understand what is being said here. If we only had the word unity, people might believe that we each had to talk and act and behave and look exactly the same on the outside to be “in unity” — but that isn’t the way the body of Christ works.
With the body of Christ, we have a unity of the spirit of Christ, but we each have specific gifts, callings, purpose, and personalities — and the work in harmony to sing a beautiful new song together.
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice ; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.
1 Corinthians 12:4-11 NLT
It is quite easy for people to gather with like minded (or like gifted) persons and create a country club/clique for those who fit into what is familiar to them. This is called division, it is called preferential treatment, and it is not of God.
“Do not twist justice in legal matters by favoring the poor or being partial to the rich and powerful. Always judge people fairly.
Leviticus 19:15 NLT
My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others? For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”—well, doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives? Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him? But you dishonor the poor! Isn’t it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court? Aren’t they the ones who slander Jesus Christ, whose noble name you bear? Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law. For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. For the same God who said, “You must not commit adultery,” also said, “You must not murder.” So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law. So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free. There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.
James 2:1-13 NLT
I pray that today we would not just “leave room for one another’s differences” but they we would wonder in awe at how the Lord God uses such unique and flawed individuals tho build this beautiful body of believers that go out and love and serve otters as the body of Christ. Isn’t that the amazing testimony of the Good News? It wouldn’t be that amazing orc shocking for someone to make a beautiful crown out of precious metals and jems. But our God is gaining Himself a beautiful bride out of the dust of the earth, out of the filthy of our wretched sinful state, from the midst of those who were once His enemies — He is doing a mighty work to mold us, refine us, rebirth in us something new and different and beautiful. And it isn’t in us the unique individual quite so much as it is in us as the unified harmonious body of believers.
So I encourage you to come back into unity, into harmony, into fellowship with your brothers and sisters. Forgive where forgiveness needs to restore that flow and connection. Lift up and encourage and help where there is one who needs your hand. Do not turn away to the other side of the road from one who is not comfortably “just like you”, but appreciate what is valuable in each other, because you are created in the image of Almighty God and He loves. Yes, He loves.