Five Minute Friday: Unite

Along the Way @ mlsgregg.com (2)

Gentle Reader,

I did it. I typed “untie” instead of “unite,” just as I knew I would.

Kate asks us to ponder this deep word tonight.

Go.

Arrogance is the enemy of unity.

There’s no such thing as simple disagreement anymore. So often discussions dissolve into grudge-matches, winner take all. Sycophants take the place of friends. The teeming, scraping diversity of life is replaced with an echo chamber. We surround ourselves with others who are too afraid to challenge, too afraid to question.

Too afraid to be themselves.

Pride clouds our vision. We fail to see our own shortcomings. We hone in on the insecurity of those around us. We pick, we prod, we poke. We tear down.

We think we’re smarter than we really are.

I am fearful tonight. Or perhaps weary and wary are better words. In this age of “tolerance” it becomes ever-more acceptable to be blatantly intolerant. Everything is an argument. Politics. Church. Medical treatment. Women’s issues. No acknowledgement that expertise is real and we don’t all have it in every single area. Refusal to accept that there really are things that people can differ on and it’s okay. Fewer and fewer seem to be able to say, “I think you’re completely wrong on this, but I respect and love you still.”

No. Instead it is, “Fine. You don’t agree with me? You’re a moron and I won’t listen to a thing you have to say.”

Superiority complex.

Lack of a teachable spirit.

In the world: Christians today turn away from doctors in favor of barely-concealed foreign spirituality, attempting to blend the gobbledygook with our faith. We cling to leaders that appeal to base prejudices and fears. Our divorce rate soars.

In the house: We look down our noses at the congregation down the street. We complain when the service is too long. We whine when the babies cry during prayer time.

I wonder where we are headed, those of us who claim to follow Christ. Too often we embrace the attitude of the world. We leave our brothers and sisters behind over silly things, in search of “better.” We tune out our pastors. We gobble up books and articles that soothe our itching ears instead of challenging us to think and struggle.

There are mountains to die on, but we aren’t dying on them.

We’re slitting our wrists over molehills.

The work of repentance isn’t easy. To fall to our knees before the throne and confess that we have been stubborn, hard-headed and sometimes flat nasty is humbling. To admit that we do not, in fact, know it all takes a mind broken of its self-importance. To accept God’s correction, in whatever form it comes, takes a shattered heart.

To be a Christian is to be teachable. It is to know that we are not the be-all, end-all fount of knowledge and wisdom. It is to know that at any time we can be proven wrong.

To be a Christian is to embrace the unity of diversity.

Stop.

My apologies for the disconnected nature of this post. It’s difficult for me to express what I’m thinking. I see pride increasing everywhere I turn and the people of God are not immune. We must become aware of this. Our pride keeps us from each other and it keeps us from the Lord. If we are not willing to learn from and be corrected by each other, how will we ever be willing to learn from and be corrected by Him?

God, make me sensitive. Give me eyes that are wide open to my faults and failures. Give me ears to hear the ignorance that flows from my mouth. Grace me with the ability to submit to the wisdom and leadership of others. Grant me wisdom to know when to stand my ground. Above all, Lord God, make me teachable.

Break my legs if You have to, but make me humble.

My journey to faith. (15)

Photo credit: Ryan McGuire
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21 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Unite

  1. Marie, this is a powerful post. You’re so right. Arrogance only breeds division. To unite, we have to be humble. Honest. Willing to offer grace. And receive it.

    I guess it’s when our eyes are on ourselves, our rights, that we are going to fall the hardest. When we’re pursuing what we think is best for us, we can’t be teachable and we certainly can’t see another viewpoint.

    I love how you wrapped this post up . . . with the reminder that to be a Christian is to be teachable, humble. To be willing to embrace the unity of diversity.

    Well done, friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “When we’re pursuing what we think is best for us, we can’t be teachable and we certainly can’t see another viewpoint.”

      It’s easy to put blinders on. It’s easy to get wrapped up in ourselves and our “right” way of doing things. I think we have to ask God to make us very aware of our arrogance and our limitations. That’s the only way I’ve found that enables me to be teachable and receive whatever He has for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m more and more seeing why pride is one of the seven deadly sins. I try to do my best to listen and to say, we can agree to disagree but yes, I do still love you! So much THIS: “To be a Christian is to embrace the unity of diversity!” Yes! I’m in the lucky #7 parking spot this week.

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    1. Loving people we disagree with is incredibly difficult. I do think that there are times when we have to separate ourselves from a relationship or decide to simply not talking about certain things. Overall, though, it’s a great big world and we have to figure out how to love all the poky people.

      Like

  3. Wow! Well said. God has brought my attention to this lately. I am so quick to judge and not even listen to what the other side said. I struggle with that balance. Where do we say something against what is clearly wrong to just accepting? I don’t know. These are good thoughts to think about. Thanks for sharing. visiting from #30

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    1. It is hard to figure out when to speak and when to stay silent. There are things that I’m incredibly passionate about and when they come up in conversation, I want to go all-in with my opinions. I’m learning that there are what I’d call “safe” people, who can handle that, and people who can’t and it’ll just quickly descend into a fight.

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  4. Marie,
    Oh I loved your ending. “Break my legs but keep me humble.” “Humble” is my oneword365 for the year, so your post especially resonated with me. Thank you thank you thank you!
    Love,
    Tammy

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  5. Amen, Marie! You hit the nail on the head… “To be a Christian is to embrace the unity of diversity.” I want to be one who does this! Thank you for encouraging my heart today, friend. You always do. Have a blessed weekend!

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  6. This: “We surround ourselves with others who are too afraid to challenge, too afraid to question.” and this: “We’re slitting our wrists over molehills.” I was tracking with you all the way. You verbalized hard, truthful stuff here. Stuff we NEED to hear. Love the way you write, Marie. I feel like there’s more under this for you, maybe? Just a hunch. 😉

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  7. This post is not disconnected at all: it is profound.
    More and more I see how deceived we have been by the father of lies who loves to set us at odds with each other. We have believed that it is more important to be right than it is to be kind. We have forgotten that the enemy is not flesh and blood but evil spiritual forces. We fail to remember that the battle is the Lord’s and that revenge belongs to Him. We hurt those who are already hurting with our criticism and rejection, but continue to sin without repentance ourselves, confident that God will forgive us anyway. When will we learn that the Bible is meant to be a mirror and not a magnifying glass?
    I keep praying for my eyes to be opened to see things the way that God sees them, and every day He answers me a little more. It is frightening but amazing, discouraging but inspiring, and challenging but rewarding. The more He shows me, the greater my awareness is that my vision is so limited and the more I believe that true wisdom is realizing how little we know.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello Marie,

        I have now reblogged with the following intro:

        Hello PDA followers and visitors.

        Some of you will be aware that I have another blog (Women of Warfare!). At this blog I participate in a blog event called Five-minute-Friday. Following last Friday’s prompt UNITE (follow link to read my perspective), I came across the following post from Marie Gregg.
        Her message deals with intolerance and pride – something that I feel can easily become an issue in our lives as writers, as dream-achievers, as purpose-driven believers pursuing success.
        I loved this young lady’s perspective on this prompt and felt you might enjoy reading it also. I pray that with the help of God’s Holy Spirit, you will allow this message to speak into and regulate your life. Enjoy!

        Thank you for letting me re-blog this.

        Like

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