Teaching unity to our kids Teaching unity to our kids
Teaching unity to our kids

More of Him and less of me

By Amanda Elliott

 

My sisters and I are cut from the same cloth. People who know us well, however, would know how very different we truly are. We lived most of our lives in a quaint, blue two-story house in a one-block neighborhood with two bedrooms and one bathroom upstairs to share between the three of us. Being the eldest I had clearly earned the right to my own room. But, in practice the two spaces were more like one shared space—whenever the mood struck me, anyway—and I allowed the little one’s passage into my most awesome and sacred of spaces.

We fought.

And then we fought some more.

But, we were united. There never was an ill word spoken against one of them without threat of life and limb from me.

We lacked the competitive nature I’ve come to notice in many siblings over the years. I think perhaps we all knew there was no favorite—yet each felt like maybe we were in fact the favorite.

My mom has a special way of doing that. Making you feel the favorite. It’s in the way she loves us as individuals. I never recall her comparing us to one another. At most, I was admonished to set a good example for my younger sisters to follow.

We endured some challenges within our family growing up. And in them solidified our unity—knowing that only those who lived under that blue-house roof knew what it was like in this family.

In the body of Christ, we are seeing discord not because we don’t know who our Father is, but because we don’t seem to know who He says we are. A pastor recently told a young woman at our church, “I have a sign that says ‘Jesus loves you. But, I’m His favorite’ and I can give it to you.”

I’m His favorite.

So. Are. You.

Don’t forget it. When we begin to believe God loves His children within the body more or less based on doctrine or certain practices, when we compete for His favor as though it’s a finite thing sure to run out if lavished on “those people” we misrepresent Him to a dying world.

His Word says the world will know we our His by our love for each other. It’s a love that doesn’t make sense. Love that makes sense doesn’t require a supernatural outpouring of the Lord that spills from one believer to the next. It is in this unity and this love that we show the world what He looks like.

Satan is the author of division. We may disagree and we may come to blows under the roof. But, what the world must see is unity. We are each His favored and favorite. His favor doesn’t run out. And His house divided will not stand.

Unity is tough stuff. It’s dying to self. It’s trusting that a Holy God who is just and never running late will bring all things together for His good. It’s not getting our way and refusing to compromise on doing things His way. His way looks like serving, looks like love, looks like a will submitted to the point of death on a cross.

Amanda Jean Elliott is a grateful believer in Jesus Christ, a wife, and mother to one wild child, Wilder, who makes life divinely sweet. She is a freelance writer and photographer, and now lives in Arkansas with her family.

 

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