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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN




Stick Together

Once upon a time a man who could not swim was invited to go fishing with a sailor who was an expert fisherman. The non-swimmer caught the first fish. It was huge not just a keeper, but a trophy. But in his excitement to land it, he fell overboard.

Panic stricken, he thrashed at the water and cried for help. The sailor calmly reached out, grabbed his arm and gave a hearty pull. The sailor had no idea it was an artificial arm...until it came off. The sailor reached out again. This time he grabbed a leg and gave a tremendous pull. The leg (being of the wooden variety) came off. Maintaining his composure, the sailor grabbed the man by the hair and pulled. You guessed it — a toupee. The sailor threw the toupee back into the water and blurted out: "How can I help you if you won't stick together?"

I have an idea that our Lord sometimes wonders the same thing about us: "How can I help you if you won't stick together?" The New Testament is full of instructions about unity. Jesus prayed that all believers "...may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me" (John 17:21). Paul wrote, "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace" (Eph. 4:3). Unity is simply "sticking together" and is not presented in Scripture as being optional. You can't just "fall to pieces" when troubles come and blame your problems on the church when you yourself have compromised unity. Here are a few ways you can help promote unity in the church:

    1. Be involved. Unity is not so much the absence of tensions as it is the presence of cooperation.
    2. Be positive. We usually find what we're looking for in people and ministries. If we look for weakness and fault, we will find it.
    3. Be supportive. Your words can build or destroy. Give careful thought to what you say and how you react.
    4. Be forgiving. There is no person so good, no program so effective, no church so complete that it/they do not need forgiveness. Christ compels us to extend it.


For His Cause,