It was the most perfect thing I’d ever seen.  If my personality–the very essence of who I am–could be embodied by an inanimate object and yet still reflect the very deepest substance of my personhood, this would be it.  I saw it from across the room, and from that moment I had one singular goal–to make it mine.  

What was the object that so captivated me?  It was a coffee mug. A pink coffee mug sprinkled with gold polka dots.  It was made for me.

I encountered this mug at my cousin’s bridal shower.  I have to confess I really don’t like bridal shower games.  I understand their utility, but I still don’t like them. There is one exception though…word scrambles.  I love words. I especially love when you mix them up and have to organize them again. I know you’re holding your breath waiting to hear if I did indeed win that mug … and I did!  Now I just need it to get cold enough to swap my cold brew for hot coffee.

One of the scrambled words was unite.  For the longest time I was trying to come up with how untie remotely factored into the wedding vernacular.  *Shrug* It took me a minute to catch on.

But of course, it also inspired me.  I often find myself desiring a middle ground or a neutral position.  I don’t like thinking my only choices are the extremes … fighting sin or being consumed by it … being hot or cold … loving or hating.  I want to fight my sin, but sometimes I want to call a truce and float in the middle, frozen in time until I decide to re-engage. I want to love others, but some people I just want to be rather indifferent toward – no love OR hate, just nothing.  The longer I live as a Christian, though, it seems evident that real life is like pushing a rock up a hill – if you’re not progressing forward, you’re likely rolling back down the hill.

So my question is are you seeking to unite or untie?

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.  Ephesians 4:1-4

Walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.

…with all lowliness

….and gentleness

…with longsuffering

….bearing with one another in love

….endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace

The word endeavor doesn’t conjure up visions of neutrality.  Endeavor is hard work, exertion, purposeful effort.  I’m not saying there aren’t sometimes reasons–good, godly, biblical reasons–to not be unified in every respect, but are we striving to unite or untie?

Historically, the American people have a pattern of coming together in times of war.  Do you remember 9/11? That’s the most unified I’ve ever seen our country. People suddenly realized what was important and the things that untied them yesterday weren’t as important as what united them today.  We are in a war today.  We war against Satan, against the world, against our own flesh, against false teachers.

Are we repenting of our gossip, just to return back to it at the first chance it presents itself?

Are we holding onto offenses, instead of humbly forgiving?

Are we harsh with our tongues?  Even when what we have to say is necessary?

Are we longsuffering with our spouse, our children, our friends, our parents, our siblings, our brother and sister in Christ?

Are we calling others to repentance in love?

Are we even noticing the people around us?  Or are we so self-absorbed that they don’t matter?

Are we praying with empathy for others the way we would want them to pray for us in their circumstances?

Are we missing opportunities to share the gospel because we have so much to do?

What if we endeavored to unite?  There’s no neutral.  Today, in our lives, will our actions unite or untie?

Love, April

April Cline

Author April Cline

April Cline, may not have a magic wand, but she often finds that her personality magically changes with coffee. If given a few wishes in her fairy tale life, she would request woodland creatures that are handy with housework and a really long nap until her prince arrives (hopefully with a coffee in hand). April's wit and skills on the piano are just a few delights she brings to the family of Christ the Word church. Her tender heart is a testimony of God's grace at work in her.

More posts by April Cline