In this week’s text, 1 Peter 3:8, the Apostle Peter teaches us that unity in the body of Christ is vitally important for the well-being of the church, as well as the individual Christian. “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”(ESV) Pay close attention to the phrase “unity of mind.” Peter does not expect that Christians will see eye- to-eye on everything. That would be uniformity, not unity. God did not call us to become robots or act like spiritual zombies. Healthy discussion, done in "brotherly love,” is a good thing and serves as a catalyst for spiritual growth. “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” (Prov. 27:17)
Unfortunately, many times these open-handed beliefs are treated as though they were close-handed doctrine, causing division in churches and can become stumbling blocks for less mature Christians. For example, proclaiming that the King James Bible is the only acceptable translation in the sight of God, or that you can only get close to God by singing a particular style of music, ultimately those beliefs can become idols. The truth is there are many good translations out there that God uses to speak to His people, and there are a thousand different songs, as well as genres of music, that sing the praises of our Holy Creator. "Unity of mind” means agreeing on the big issues of our faith – the Bible is truth. There’s one God in three persons, the Trinitarian community of Father, Son, and Spirit. We are all sinners. Jesus is God. His death on the cross paid for our sin. And if you do not surrender your life to Him, you will go to hell. When these close-handed doctrines become the focus of our devotion, the open-handed beliefs that can divide us are put in their proper place and our
hearts and mind become focused on serving Jesus.