The longer I study the Bible, the more I’m convinced that the Apostle Paul’s teaching about heresy refers to disunity as opposed to false doctrine. You see, this great church planter, missionary, and servant of God understood that nothing had the power to destroy believers, both individually and collectively, like strife. If the devil could gain a foothold and tear apart a congregation, the Name of Jesus would be defamed and dishonored. As we’ve talked about previously, the early church was known around the world for the manner in which it brought together people of all different backgrounds, races, and social classes. Nowhere had anyone witnessed such diverse groups standing side-by-side in service, equality, and brotherly love. It makes sense, then, that Satan’s greatest attack was to divide and tear apart the work of oneness that only the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit could accomplish. Unfortunately, this also remains true today. We are living in a divided world, and it’s important to understand that such strife and dissension is nearly always the work of the enemy. When groups of people are pitted against each other, it opens doors for the deceiver to work his woes of discouragement, deception, and ultimately, decimation. On the other hand, when the church stands together in love, respect, and unity — even if there isn’t complete agreement — the veil of darkness is pushed back and the watching world takes notice.
My friend, you are a bringer of unity. In a culture that is becoming more divided by the day, you are the kind of person who never puts down, shuns, or disrespects someone for holding a view that is not your own. On the other hand, you graciously honor and show love to every human being because you know that all are made in the image of God. While you stand firmly anchored in Biblical truth and you don’t compromise your convictions, you roll out the red carpet to people who are different by offering their heart a safe place to share. You are a gracious listener, and the hallmark of your character is to build bridges, which makes you stand out in an increasingly polarized world, as you model, in action, the words and ways of Jesus.