What a word. It’s a word we desperately need right now. Unity is when we can stand together as one people under one God. Unity sees diversity as an expression of God’s creativity and welcomes every life into the mix. But what causes disunity? As I ponder recent events, it makes me reflect on what causes disunity in the first place. I thought this blog post could be a reflection for us when disunity strikes. It’s spurred by recent events, but it goes beyond those. It delves into our lives as followers of Jesus, as people in relationships, as people in the workplace, as parents, and more.
Here’s some things that I see cause disunity.
1. Writing Another’s Story
This is a leading cause of disunity. When we “write someone’s story” we are telling ourselves why they do the things they do. We take on assumption and just write it down in our mind and then function from that belief. It’s a limited belief but it’s easier than the hard work of relationship and finding out the truth. We must not write another’s story but reinstate the art of conversation. To welcome loving conflict to dialogue and converse about issues we face in life.
2. Speaking before listening
Along those lines, sometimes we feel the need to be understood over listening and loving. We want our voice to be heard instead of listening to the voice of others and trying to understand their hurt. In recent events, I’m practicing listening. I want to know how racism has effected people and I want to do my part to stand up. I also want to know how these events affect those first responders and for them to know I love them as well. I want to listen to the problem and seek God’s direction in my action.
In our relationships, we do well when we put aside the need to be understood and instead fight to understand the other person. What unity that causes!
Not a real word, I know. But you get the point hopefully. It’s when we assume we know the answer. It’s when we assume we are right. It’s when we assume we know “why” the other person is the way they are or we assume we know where they stand. We also assume their motives. Just because you may hold an opinion doesn’t mean you have the answer or that you are right. We cannot be that arrogant. Believe me, I commit assumicide this way in thinking my opinion is the answer. I’m thankful for those in my life who quickly remind me that’s not the case.
For me, moving forward, I refuse. I refuse to write another’s story. I refuse to speak before listening. I refuse to commit assumicide. Will I need reminding of these commitments? You bet! And I pray God continues to place people in my life to hold me accountable. What about you? Will you stand and make this commitment? We have the power to stop disunity, injustice, and more. It’s a power given to us by the mission from Jesus Himself:
“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”Jesus Christ