How Good and Pleasant
by Mindy Kiker
How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! Psalm 133:1 (NIV)
I consider Psalm 133:1 a “life verse” because I hold onto it for dear life. There is nothing in me that naturally wants to be in unity with others. In my flesh, I typically want to control others and make them obey me. Without God as my guide, I do not want to submit one to another — I want others to submit to me. End of story. All you need to do is say, “Yes, ma’am,” and we’re good to go.
Ouch! There looms Romans 12:15, stepping on my toes, making me squirm, recommending that we “live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but enjoy the company of the lowly. Do not be conceited.” (NIV)
Part of the problem with the concept of unity is that it requires humility, and when humility is in short supply, unity is hard to muster. My husband often says to me, “Mindy, unity does not mean that I must come into line with you, nor does it mean that you must come into line with me. It means that we both need to come into line with God.”
When my husband and I pray through difficult issues in family and married life, we intentionally seek a “third way,” which is our way of asking God for another solution that is neither “Greg’s way” nor “Mindy’s way,” but a “third way” that comes straight from the heart of Father. We trust that our good, good Abba knows all and sees all and has far better ideas than either of us ever could.
At other times, we do not pray through difficult issues. Instead we indulge enmity against one another. When my heart is gripped by disunity, everything feels wrong. I have come to recognize that irritating, scratching, sandpapery-feeling that rises up when offense is present, and I take action.
When I detect bitterness in my heart, I will not stop pursuing God until we reach resolution. I hate to be without peace. I despise how it feels in my heart. I loathe that it colors my interactions with others. I detest the division it creates in my family, in my friendships, and in the church.
Sure, I am tempted to explain away the initial thorn pricks of offense by making someone else the scapegoat, blaming the circumstances, justifying myself, or distracting myself with other responsibilities. I have experienced, however, that God is faithful to “stand at the door and knock.” (Revelation 3:20)
And knock He does. Today is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). Today we are invited to turn, to repent, to be cleansed, and to be restored to life in all its fullness. We don’t have to fix ourselves up first. Repentance places us in God’s capable hands. Come on, be brave, join me on my knees and see what God can do.