Nehemiah’s biggest problem in rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem was not the outside enemies who were trying to kill the Jews, but rather disunity among his own people. Instead of giving themselves to one another and to the building project, they were trying to bring division. Nehemiah had to spend crucial time sorting out problems and rebuking with painful words the very people he had come to help.
In the New Testament, much of the Apostle Paul’s energy was consumed in dealing with divisions within churches and between individuals.
In his first letter to the Corinthian believers, he addresses their selfish conduct during the Lord’s Supper, which he pointed out was a clear indication of disunity—that they didn’t discern the Body of Christ, the Bride of Jesus. Paul warned them that their self-centeredness and lack of love for each other were bringing them judgment (see 1 Corinthians 11:17–22).
The Lord’s primary goal in any local fellowship is for all His people whom He placed there to sincerely love and care for one another, producing such oneness that His purposes can be fulfilled through their lives. In fact, Jesus told His disciples in John 13:34–35 that this would be the key to conquering the world with the Gospel: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
May the Lord challenge our hearts afresh and cause us to reexamine ourselves that we not be unloving toward anyone. Let us be people who will choose to go down and take that extra step to care for others and demonstrate Christ’s love to them. When we do this, we will make it obvious that we are His disciples, and He will draw this world to Himself.
Whom would God have you become more loving toward?