Let’s talk about unity in Christ:
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ." - Gal 1:10
This verse is one that speaks strongly to me. I have always struggled with my desire for the approval of human beings. I’ve come to realize that many of God’s lessons over the past decade has been focused on teaching me not to value the approval of human beings over His approval. My pursuit of human approval brought me to edge and beyond. Only God was able to rescue me from the mess that I had gotten myself into. And I am forever grateful. This ministry is an outgrowth of those lessons and is, itself, another lesson to seek the approval of God over humans.
I receive a lot of verbal abuse from people who hate apologetics and theology.
Words have power and they do hurt, but God is able to heal every wound caused by them (Pro 12:18). Seeking His approval not only heals those wounds but often quenches those fiery darts before they even hit me. Sometimes, I don’t even feel the insults because they matter so little (Pro 28:25).
And that’s where the focus of all Christians is supposed be. On God and what makes Him happy (Mat 7:21 & Jhn 8:29). Christian unity is a necessary result from this kind of focus. We Christians are united and strong when we are more concerned with pleasing God than our fellow humans. That’s not to say that when we focus on God, we neglect our family and neighbors. On the contrary! It turns out that it pleases God to love and help our family and neighbors (Mat 25:31-46). Not only that but if humanity was collectively focused on what pleases God, then we would end up having the approval of humans as a consequence.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” - Mat 6:33
But we know that not every human is focused on pleasing God. As a matter of fact, it is a small portion of humanity. Even among confessing Christians it’s more rare than it ought to be. And, no judgement here. I’m still learning the extent to which I value the approval of humans in my life. So, I certainly don’t exclude myself from the problem.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,” - Col 3:23
Whenever we take our focus off of God and place it anywhere else, that causes division in the Kingdom of God. Even if it’s ever so slight. And that division, as crazy as it might seem, is sin (Jam 4:4). So, as I learn to keep my focus on what pleases God, I implore you to do the same. That we might become a tighter and more united community as we all endeavor to get closer to the center of our universe. Which is God.