“Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.” Romans 15:5-7
One of the core elements of Christian living is to serve selflessly with fellow believers. Yet, we often disagree. Churches split and denominations fracture. In today’s passage, the Apostle Paul gives three keys to making sure our differences don’t become disputes.
In order to serve selflessly, we need patience – a lot of patience. Now, this isn’t something we can muster up in and of ourselves. Paul is talking about the kind of perseverance that only God can supply. So, what does supernatural patience look like? Well, it often shows up as restraint; allowing God to rein in our responses to one another. In other words, God-given perseverance enables us to respond in His Spirit rather than react in our old nature.
Be of the Same Mind
Being of the same mind is both a cause and an effect of unity. 1 Corinthians 2:16 tells us, “But we have the mind of Christ.” This blessing of the Holy Spirit belongs to every follower of Christ. When we act outside of this mindset, we’re less appreciative of what other believers have to offer the Lord.
Accept One Another
Paul urges us to wholeheartedly accept one another, even in our differences. As a matter of fact, there’s no other way a body can survive! Think about it; if your body rejects one of your organs, then your whole body is in serious trouble. In the same way, unity in diversity is essential to a healthy body of believers.
So, what’s the result of responding in God-given perseverance, being of the same mind, and accepting one another? We glorify God the Father with one accord and with one voice. You see, being part of the body of Christ is not about singing solo; it’s about being a member of His choir. Because the body of Christ is diverse, disagreements are bound to happen. Still, we’re called to serve selflessly as we accomplish the work of Christ. Are you singing in harmony with the believers around you?