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Before there was trouble in paradise, there was total perfection on Earth.
Adam and Eve experienced a sinless world in the Garden of Eden. Everything worked in complete harmony, each in unity with the others. The relationships that existed between themselves, the animals, the land, and the Lord were God’s perfect design. So why would they mess with such a good thing?
Because they were told there was more.
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
Genesis 3:2-6 NIV
The enemy’s trickiest tool has always been deception. He confuses us with the slightest altering of the truth, while dangling our desires in front of our faces. He strategically tempts us at times of weakness, making it humanly impossible to say no.
I’m guessing Adam and Eve were hungry. I’m also guessing this forbidden tree bore the most beautiful fruit in the entire garden, which probably looked like some gourmet delicacy you would see in a culinary magazine. The perfect time and setting for an irresistible temptation.
One false promise of greatness is all it took to get them to take one measly bite. And one measly bite is all it took to break up the unity in God’s perfect design.
Real slick, Satan.
His deception led to their disobedience. Their disobedience led to the first earthly division between man and God, which ultimately caused division between all mankind. It’s a vicious cycle that has been plaguing human history ever since.
Our world is full of stories of hurt from broken relationships and divided people, and we all have our own versions to tell. Whether we disagree on stupid things like what’s for dinner or important things like theology, it’s admittedly hard to agree to disagree. It’s in our nature to want to be right. Letting go of pride and putting the relationship first is hard work. But just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it, right? In fact, as believers, it isn’t optional. God calls us to live in unity with each other, but just like in the Garden, He wants us to start by being united with Him first.
I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. John 17:21 NLT
Then, we can destroy division and demonstrate unity with the help of the One we serve.
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. I Peter 3:8 NIV
I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. I Corinthians 1:10 NIV
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Romans 12:16 NIV
Okay, that’s kind of a tall order. But nothing like a new year to embrace a challenge, right?
Instead of giving Satan the thrill of victory by living as a divided people, let’s bring God glory by living as a united people.
We’re going to have to be proactive and prepared, because unity won’t happen by accident. So how about taking a first step together: let’s memorize one (or all!) of the Scriptures above and be ready to practice His commands the next time He gives us the opportunity.
Now let’s ask God to show us our own next step. Maybe we need to forgive someone. Maybe we need to apologize and hug our spouse. Maybe we need to reach out to someone specific with a kind, encouraging Ecard or a thoughtful gift. Maybe we need to talk less and listen more. Maybe we just need to pray.
The world is watching us, fellow believers, and we are called to be doers of His Word, not just hearers of it. So let’s do this...together!
Want to read more on unity and togetherness? Check out these related articles:
A Prayer for Unity
Kind Words Are Like Honey
Browse our collection of friendship eCards to find the perfect message for someone special to you. For old friends, new ones, maybe even a sibling with whom you share a special bond—sending a free friendship eCard is a gesture that lets them know just how much you appreciate them. The inspiring Scripture on each design will remind both of you that your friendship is a gift from God.
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