Unity and compromise are different concepts. An example of this was exercised by a New York family. They bought a western ranch where they hoped to raise cattle. Eventually friends planned to visit. They asked if the ranch had a name. “Well,” answered the aspiring cattleman, “I wanted to name it the Bar-J. My wife wanted to name it Susy-Q. My oldest son wanted to name it the Flying-W. My daughter wanted to name it the Lazy-Y. So we finally decided to call it the Bar-J-Susy-Q-Flying-W-Lazy-Y.” “Do you have many cattle?” their friends asked. “No,” the rancher answered. “None survived the branding.”
They compromised but the result was not unity. Compromise always offers something less than what is desired. To truly know the results of unity we must have the same leader – Jesus Christ, the same guide for our lives and mission – the Word of God, and an honest ambition to see God’s will done. Our personal agendas must be put aside. Instead there must be a humble willingness to work with others even if they are poorly qualified. This also requires a determination to give ourselves in consecrated service to His work. The necessary adjustments will be well worth the effort and sacrifice when we see the unity that is made possible.
Dr. Gayle Woods
Deuteronomy 10:12-15 (12)
Alma grew up in our church. Her grandfather was one of the founders. The church bore his last name. She seldom missed a service. Tragically, in spite of her exposure to the gospel she had never been saved. I prayed for her often. I visited her regularly. Numerous times I explained the plan of salvation as simply as I could and asked her if she would like to pray to ask God to forgive her for her sins and become the Lord of her life. Each time she refused. Her answer became familiar. “Bro. Woods, it is just so hard to understand.”
In our devotional text for today Moses seemed to be expressing the same frustration I felt. “How easy can it be? How simple can it be?” “What doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to . . . “ The path to the foot of the cross is clearly marked and easy to follow. At the end of the path the Savior eagerly awaits your arrival.
Why do we try to complicate what Christ has made simple? Isaiah said, “And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.” Isaiah 35:8
By Dr. Gayle Woods
Much can be learned from the practices of geese while in flight. For example, As each goose flaps its wings it creates an “lift” for the birds that follow. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone. When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies to the point position. Geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. When a goose gets sick, wounded, or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then, they launch out with another formation or catch up with the flock.
If we Christians have the sense of a goose, we can also learn lessons from God’s creatures. Sharing a common purpose we will gain encouragement from each other. Not trying to gain position at the detriment of others but working together we will know a special camaraderie. Doing our fair share of the work all will avoid the danger of burnout and we will benefit from the combined resource of our gifts and talents. Standing by each other with our encouragement and assistance we will all be able to accomplish more. It is no surprise that Paul saw this type of unity as a picture of a healthy body – the Church.
Dr. Gayle Woods