UNITED WE STAND?
You're in a hurry to catch your ride after school, so you stop Darla in the hall and hand her a slip of paper. "Would you do me a favor?" you ask her.
"Oh," she answers, almost clucking the word like a contented hen. "Of course!"
"Could you give this to Cindy Johnson?" you say, nodding to indicate the slip of paper. "She missed algebra class today, so I told her I'd write down the homework assignment for her."
"Oh," Darla answers. "I'm not talking to Cindy."
"Well," you say, still holding the slip toward Darla, "could you give it to Mike, her boyfriend? He can give it to Cindy."
Darla rolls her eyes. "Well," she says, "if I'm not talking to Cindy, I'm not talking to her boyfriend, either. Duh!"
"OK, OK," you say, still holding the slip and determined to think of something. "What about. . . could you, um, ask Joe Deters to give it to his brother Kyle, who works with Sylvia? Sylvia can give it to Cindy on her way home from work."
Darla's nose wrinkles as if she's just smelled a dead fish. "Joe Deters? Ugh! I can't be seen talking to Joe Deters! He's such a-such a-you know what I mean."
You nod, not totally sure whether you know what she means or not. But one thing you know for sure you'll have to call Cindy with the homework assignment.
Darla may be extreme, but she's not too different from a lot of people who seem to divide the world into "the people I'm getting along with right now" and "the people I can't stand right now." Or they divide people into "my type" and "not my type." Or "friends" and "enemies." Or "cool" and "you gotta be kidding."
But that kind of behavior, believe it or not, often hurts the Darla's more than it hurts the Cindy's or the Joe's. You don't need to litter your life with broken friendships and burned-out relationships. You're not helping yourself if you hold on to old feuds and resentments.
Unity is so much better than disunity and division. Unity with others brings rewards; disunity only brings resentment. Living in harmony with others promotes peace; living in disharmony only brings about pain.
That's why God desires unity for his children. He knows unity brings much better results than division and disagreement.
REFLECT: Is there anything in your life causing division between you and a friend? If so, what steps can you take to bring about harmony and unity with that friend?
PRAY: Use Jesus' prayer for his disciples from John 17:21 to pray for yourself and your relationships with your friends and acquaintances. (For example, you may pray, "Father, my prayer for... is that we will be one.")