Today’s article appeared in the October 2020 issue of The Gospel News in the Word Up column.
“All mine are thine, and thine are mine.” (John 17:10)
Spiritual unity is achievable. But when we venture into other facets of our lives, such agreement is challenging; maybe even impossible. In John 17, Jesus identifies us as His own (“mine”) and further identifies us as God’s also (“thine”). If we humbly accept being His and His Father’s, why is it so difficult to be one another’s?
Joseph’s brothers fought him over sibling rivalry. Paul opposed Peter over favoritism (Jew vs. Gentile). Saul tormented David over petty jealousy. Today’s unprecedented exposure makes harmony more problematic than ever before. Weekly headlines bring divisiveness framed by skin color, politics, ethnicity, gender, culture, age, economics, religion, and even healthcare. The Word continually warns not to succumb to such underminings:
- Philippians 2:2: “Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”
- Romans 12:16: “Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.”
- 1 Corinthians 1:10: “Speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”
- 1 Peter 3:8: “Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.”
My joy. Likeminded. One accord. Not high things. Condescend. Own conceits. No divisions. Compassion. Courteous.
Perusing social media might confound one’s rectifying such scripture with the posts of those who are “mine” and “thine.” Too often these are predicated upon identities other than “Saint,” which can be as simple as political designations. If all feel aligned with God’s intended views, and society is split 50-50, these immediately separate, with half the readers = instantaneous division!
Paul writes, “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8). Post these things!
Continual peace was achieved for 167 years in the Americas 1,800 years ago: “There was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people” (4 Nephi 15). Hidden within verse 17 verse lies the secret: “Neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ.”
No -ites of any kind. Not Republican-ite. Not Democrat-ite. Not Italian-ite. Not Anglo-ite. Not white-ite. Not black-ite. Not brown-ite. Not male-ite. Not female-ite. Not old-ite. Not young-ite. “They were IN ONE = THE CHILDREN OF CHRIST!”
Over 167 years, the Saints were unwilling to jeopardize their highest calling as “HEIRS TO THE KINGDOM OF GOD” (v. 17). They understood that anything opinion-based was an area of separation and would fail in reaching the mark. They accepted their greatest calling as “mine” and “thine” as fact-based. Their standing before God spoke to truth, honesty, purity, loveliness, virtue, and praise. They refused to give into “any manner of -ite.”
Might we re-establish and dwell within a “NO -ITE” zone!
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.