UNITY IS NOT CONFORMITY

This article is based on an article by Kris Vallotton “AGREEMENT ISN’T THE POINT” Aug 28, 2016 (https://www.krisvallotton.com)

“If connection is the priority, then the goal of communication cannot be agreement, because then one person has to disappear when there is disagreement. And guess what? People do not always agree.”

IF WE WANT TO KEEP TWO POWERFUL PEOPLE INVOLVED AND CONNECTED IN A CONVERSATION, THE FIRST GOAL MUST BE TO UNDERSTAND.

The person whose goal is to understand says, “I want to understand your unique perspective and experience. I want to understand the truth of what is happening inside you. And I want you to understand the same things about me. If I understand your heart, then I can move toward you in ways that build our connection. I can respond to your thoughts, respect your feelings, and help to meet your needs.”

Jesus calls us to love people we disagree with. You don’t have to conform to their way of thinking or convince them to think like you in order to love and value them. Romans 12 makes this distinction by pointing out that Believers are “individually members of one another”. Understand, unity is not conformity. In fact, within the Kingdom of God, unity is the celebration of diversity,  I propose it will be impossible to experience unity with one another if our value system is based on an agreement and not on the reality that we are distinctly unique children of God. 

Have you ever thought through the fact that unity has more of a relationship with disagreement than it does agreement? That may be hard for some to comprehend because the culture we live in has formed its value system based on agreement. In other words, in today’s culture, people tend to connect their value to how much they’re agreed with; they gather on agreement and divide in disagreement. By modern-day standards, disagreement is now synonymous with disloyalty. My point is this—if disagreement equates to being devalued, then conformity becomes the idealistic picture that’s projected onto unity. But, within the Kingdom of God, unity has nothing to do with conformity. 
Let’s think this through together. According to the Bible, John 3:16 does NOT say that God agreed with the world so He sent His son to offer us salvation. No, quite the opposite. Romans 5:10 clarifies that we were considered enemies of God when He extended an offering—an eternal, inseparable union through His Son, Jesus Christ. Understand, in complete disagreement with the depravity found in the world, God moved towards us, not away from us. Did you catch that? Motivated by love, God moves forward in the trying times of unrepentant injustice and utter disagreement. He doesn’t retreat. He never withholds. God’s driving desire for reconciliation is not conformity. It’s the restoration of authenticity that sin attempts to devalue and ultimately destroy. Consider this, no demon or better yet, no disagreement on earth can separate us from the love of God. 

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