The first trait is love. John 13:35 says, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” We have a very powerful tool that is used to bring others to Christ and its called Love. Love is a small letter word that is packed with so much power. I Corinthians 13 is often referred to as the Love Chapter because it defines what God’s love really means. The (New Living Translation) states Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. We often use this chapter to talk about the love of husband and wife but in reality this is the kind of love we should have for everyone. The way we show love towards each other is the only way some will ever see Christ in action.
The second trait is forgiveness. In church today we experience so much “Church hurt”. Church hurt is when you are hurt by someone who professes to be a Christian. This church hurt could be eliminated if we just learn how to truly love each other with the love of Christ. I know what you are thinking, how can I do that when they did this or said this to me. How can I let go of this pain when I’m still trying to recover from the hurt? Well let’s look to Christ, we can look back over our life and think about the horrible things we did and said and Christ still forgave us and he didn’t just forgive us but he threw it into the depths of the sea as stated in Micah 7:18-19. Love begins with forgiveness. Once we forgive we let go of the hurt and the pain others may have caused and we are able to move on and begin the healing process. Many people say I will forgive but I will never forget. But they are really saying, I forgive you but I will still hold it against you. If we practice this type of mentality, we in essence, never truly forgave the person. When we refuse to forgive, our spiritual life comes to a halt. St. Matthews 6:15 NLT version states, “But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive our sins” We can’t not expect blessings and a prosperous life if God has not forgiven us. It’s imperative for you to forgive in order to live. True forgiveness starts with a clean slate. What you will gain from that experience is knowledge and wisdom on how to approach the situation the next time. How do you know if you have completely forgiven someone? We will do as the bibles says and pray for our enemies and those who despitefully use us and say all manner of evil against us. When we can pray for someone with the utmost sincerity in our hearts and truly want the best for them, then we have completely forgiven them.
The third trait is unity. Powerful things happen when people unite. Let’s take a look at the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11:1-9 up until this point everyone spoke the same language. The people wanted to reach heaven so they started to build a tower. God intervened by creating different languages so they could not communicate with one another. “God says in Genesis 11:6, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.” (NIV) God realizes that when people are unified in purpose they can accomplish impossible feats. This is why unity in the body of Christ is so important.”
What often hinders unity is the lack of communication or the miscommunication. To communicate is to impart, knowledge of; to make known to transmit. When we are communicating with each other we are exchanging information to one another. The way we communicate can often be misunderstood because of our facial expressions or the tone in which we say what we say or even how we said what we said. Communication is the key to success. Learning how to properly communicate (watching your tone, using your words wisely) will help cut down on miscommunication and can help eliminate discord.
Love, Forgiveness, and Unity is the recipe for any successful relationship. Where there is unity, there is strength. We can accomplish anything we put our minds and hearts to just by coming together as one. God works in unity Colossians 3:14 states, “Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony” Christ wants us to walk together one accord so we can focus on our purpose which is to win souls to the kingdom.