"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!" Psalm 133:1
Unity has been on my mind lately. It started while I was at the Republican convention. When we went we were going to endorse a candidate to run on the Republican ticket for governor. There were several running with two front runners and many of us going had some pretty strong opinions about who we thought would do best as our next governor. Obviously though only one was going to win, and if we were going to be a united party the supporters of the candidates that didn't win were going to need to get behind the the one that did win. That is a little easier said than done however.
On Friday of the convention we came and found most everybody decked out with t-shirts or buttons supporting their candidate (we had our buttons on too) and then the voting began. The way it is done at the convention 60% of the vote is needed in order to win. After the first vote 3 of the candidates received less than 5% of the vote and so they weren't able to be on the ballot the next time. The other two candidates had both received a lot of votes and one was a bit ahead but still a ways from 60%. Two of the candidates that were removed from the ballot got up and asked all of their supporters to please support our candidate (who was in 2nd place). A 2nd vote was taken, still neither one got 60% but the one with the most votes had gained more than our candidate who was in 2nd place.
It was at this time, after some thought, that the candidate that we were supporting (Marty Seifert) asked to speak. He did something that was very admirable and a great example in a way to promote unity. We could have gone on taking ballets probably for many hours, he had some strong support and they weren't interested in backing down, but he realized that wouldn't be the best for party unity- it would do more to divide us than to bring us together. Marty Seifert got up and gave an incredibly supportive speech (I tried to find a link but couldn't) for the other candidate, Tom Emmer. He expressed his desire to work hard for Tom's race and asked all of us to get our Seifert stickers off and our Emmer stickers on and work hard too. It is hard to explain just how gracious he was in defeat.
This has made me think a lot about Christians. Though I obviously consider politics important, it is nothing compared to our job as Christians. God has given us a mission and that is to tell the world about Jesus, ("Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned." Mark 16:15 & 16) if we aren't working together, united, we aren't going to be able to get the job done nearly as effectively. We need to work together!
That was Jesus prayer: "I do not ask on behalf of these along, but for those also who believe in Me through their word: that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent me," John 17:20 & 21 Jesus wants us to be one. That doesn't happen if we are fighting, concentrated on doing our own thing and not working together. We can't all have our own agenda, we need to simplify and just concentrate on following God's word just as it is.
I am really thankful for this example of unity that I have witnessed and I am encouraged to seek unity more in my Christian life too. I want to really work on working together, not be so sidetracked by my own plans. I hope you will seek for unity too!