This past year has been one of the most challenging times in modern history. Every person in our nation has been affected to some degree by the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic crisis and the racial injustice which tested us on every level.

In the midst of all this, we have become more divided as a nation than ever before. It is heart breaking to look around and see just how much hatred and division is running rampant all across our nation.

However, the good news is there is a solution to every problem that we are facing.

I believe that unity is a major element in turning the tide in this country. Unity is defined in the dictionary as the state of being united or joined as a whole. Unity doesn’t mean that we always see eye to eye on everything, rather it does mean that we choose to respect and honor each other regardless of our differences.

The lack of unity and the lack of respect for others is one of the main reasons why our nation has been in an uproar. Unity is foundational and absolutely essential to having healthy relationships. Without unity there is no peace and without love there can be no unity.

Now, I would like to share some practical things that we can do to develop unity. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but includes a few things that can help on our journey for unity.

The first thing that we can do is to view others from God’s perspective.

God does not view people the way that we view them. Oftentimes people can be very critical and judgmental of others and even develop an attitude of superiority. God’s perspective about humanity is amazing and liberating.

In the eyes of God we are valuable and have worth.

God does not view us as inferior, less than, stupid or any other negative labels that others would try to put on us. If we are going to develop unity then it is going to be necessary for us to change our perspective toward those who may not look like us, believe like us or even vote like us.

The second thing that we can do to develop unity is to respect and honor others.

The bible tells us in 1 Peter 2:17 to honor all people. Respect and honor for others are basic skills that most of us were taught from our parents. Unfortunately, when you look at the climate of our nation right now respect and honor seems to be a lost art.

The final thing that we can do to develop unity is to stop believing everything that we hear.

Oftentimes, people judge others based on what someone else told them before they actually verified if the information were true or not. Operating like this can be very destructive to our relationships.

The Bible says in Proverbs 18:13 that “Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.” This can be avoided if we would just slow down, listen and gather the facts before using our mouths to hurt others.

I truly believe that these three points I’ve discussed are foundational to develop unity with others.

As we view others from God’s perspective, respect and honor others, and stop believing everything we hear, it will help us learn to unify rather than divide.

Rev. Marlando Jordan is senior pastor at Sozo Church in Kennewick. Questions and comments should be directed to editor Lucy Luginbill in care of the Tri-City Herald newsroom, 4253 W. 24th Avenue, Kennewick, WA 99338. Or email [email protected]

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