Unity


A popular personality profile that is used in a variety of ways (from psychological profile to business leadership development) is called the Myers-Briggs personality assessment. From a series of questions, if answered honestly, the evaluation tool can categorize a person in a variety of types. One of the strong indicators for a person is whether they get their “energy” from being with people or being alone (extraverts vs. introverts). What the assessment often makes us think is that “if I am an introvert, I don’t like people;” and “if I am an extravert, I love people.” The truth is that introverts can love (and even want to be with) people just as much as extraverts. Crowds just wear them out, and they need some alone time to recharge. Extraverts, on the other hand, get a charge out of being with big groups, but they also discover that they need some time to be alone.

Regardless of whether you prefer your people in small doses or like to be part of a herd, the truth is that we all need other people. And in the church, we need to have time with other believers because that is how we grow. When we gather together with other believers for the purpose of worship, we begin to sense the presence of God (who insists on being with gatherings of even the smallest number of Christians), and we glean encouragement from the group as attention is drawn away from self and personality and focused on God our Savior.

Togetherness is also an opportunity for each of us to grow in our faith as we study God’s Word together to gain insight, pray together to make connection, and fellowship together for encouragement. Let’s stop trying to do life in isolation and help each other (regardless of personality type) to grow in our faith.

 “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”  —Hebrews 10:24

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Growing up in a Southern Baptist home, then studying church history with that same Southern Baptist bent, I learned a couple of things about church members: (1) everyone has an opinion, and (2) Baptists love to fight (especially over opinions).  While we may even get over a fight as to how prone to fighting Baptists are, history shows us that churches can have wedges driven down the middle of them for any number of reasons. People fight over the color of the carpet, the use of choir robes (or not), the pastor’s style of hair, or so many other things. I think I know why. Satan likes to get and keep us distracted.

Throughout his classic The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis has the title demon advising his young protégé, Wormwood, to keep the soul the younger demon is responsible for distracted with minor things. At the point that the soul is lost to the enemy (i.e. becomes a Christian), Wormwood is cautioned to double his efforts so that the new convert will not influence others into the faith. That is the way of the devil—to keep us arguing about insignificant matters so that others will not come to Christ.

With this in mind, let us make a greater effort to achieve a common goal: unity. As we spread the heart and soul of unity we will not be driven apart by the myriad things that distract us. We can concentrate on the ultimate prize of Christ-likeness and as we draw closer to Him, we will draw more people into His arms.

“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.”  —1 Corinthians 3:6-7