The Church. The bride of Christ. Nothing on earth is more valuable to God than his church. He paid a steep price for it, that of his Son Jesus, and God wants us to protect it at all cost. The unity of the church is very important to God. Jesus prayed fervently for the church that we may keep our bond with one another and with God (John 17:20-23). Paul preached to the church at Ephesus about the priority of unity (Ephesians 4:3-6) and more than ever, we need to unify the body of believers today.
Too often though we focus on our differences. As the verse in Ephesians above says, we are of one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God. We would be wise to remember that when we’re criticizing other believers or steering clear of those with different backgrounds. God never intended for there to be separation and dissension within the church. Instead, we should focus on the mission he has assigned to us of spreading the gospel to everyone we meet (1 Corinthians 1:10).
The reality is that when dealing with the church, we are dealing with people. In relationships, it is inevitable that people will let you down. Rest assured that you let others down as well. We should have rational expectations of those in the church body and make every effort to grant patience and grace in the same measure that we would like to receive it (Ephesians 4:2).
Be an encourager. Don’t be a passive church member expecting to be “fed” by the church. Make contributions not excuses. The church was meant to serve the needs of God and the lost in the world, not to serve only ourselves (1 Corinthians 10:24). Our needs as members of the church will be met when we seek God first. Always strive to be a member of the body who represents the truth and love of Christ.