“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble (1 Peter 3:8).”
When I was in college, I swam for the University of Indianapolis. Our opponents pejoratively called us the “international team” and accused us of recruiting illegally. I think they were jealous because our team, full of diversity, would win by a large margin at our swim meets.
It’s true that our swim team was culturally diverse. We had Greek Cypriots, Turkish men and women, Canadians, and a man from Israel. The different languages, cultures, and religious beliefs can produce tension. For instance, there was a fight between a practicing Muslim and Jew because one accidentally kicked the other in practice. The coach immediately took care of the situation, kicking both of them out of practice.
This was the only conflict I recall in the three years I was on the team–other than that, our group not only cooperated but became best friends. Why? We had the same passions, goals, interests, and dreams. Our desire to work together, win meets, and become successful was contagious. In my senior year, our team ranked in the top 15 nationally. We were victorious.
How much more should we cooperate with one another as believers in Christ? We are not only after the same goal, but we are brothers and sisters in Christ. We are united by the spirit of God. Neither life nor death can take away our relationship with God and the church family.
Do you believe that? Are you living that life today? Are you checking up on your brothers and sisters? Believe me, people are struggling more than you think. This is convicting because oftentimes I am concerned more about my own situation than others.
It is my prayer this week that the church recognizes their unique calling to love, help, and motivate the people of God for Jesus’ glory. It is imperative that Christians unite with one another to show the world what true love is all about. Jesus told us the two greatest commands: “Love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.” Are we prepared to do that today? I hope so. Amen.