Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together. – Vesta Kelly
There can be union without unity: tie two cats together by their tails and throw them over a clothesline. – Unknown
Unity is a common theme throughout the Bible. It is something that can be seen as extremely important to God. As Paul opens his letter to the church at Corinth, this is the first topic that Paul proceeds to bring their attention to. You can imagine that the church at Corinth would face a lot of problems. The city itself, was located on an isthmus, a narrow stretch of land that connected two landmasses, and was also a port city. So, land traffic, and sea traffic was very high in this city. This means that there was a lot of opportunity for other people/cultures/religious beliefs to influence the people of this city. Paul emphasizes that they must be on guard and present a united front: “Now I plead with you, brethren … that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” If they didn’t, they would most likely splinter and then be unsuccessful as a growing church.
How important is the concept of unity to God? He recognizes it all the way back to the beginning of the human race. In Genesis 11, we’re told in verse 1 that “the whole earth had one language and one speech.” Mankind makes the decision to build a tower that would reach to the heavens so they can make a name for themselves. We know the result of what happened at Babel, and that mankind was scattered and different languages came into existence, but look at God’s response to mankind’s effort in verse 6: ”Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.” (emphasis added) Why is unity so important to God, and thus, so important to Paul? The reason is that when we are of one mind and one language, nothing can be withheld from us. In matters of opinion, it is okay for us as Christians to disagree, but in matters founded in Scripture, we must be of one mind and one language in order for us to be the most effective Christians we can be in this world.