The High Cost of Nurturing Unity

The High Cost of Nurturing Unity April 23, 2024

Unity is a beautiful thing


All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.

Acts 4: 32

In the New Testament church as found in the books of Acts, we read a remarkable statement. “All the believers were one in heart and mind.” Amazing! How can it be that these early church believers who came from such diverse backgrounds could be committed to unity on a consistent and intimate basis?

The Holy Spirit makes unity possible

There is only one answer. The indwelling work of the Holy Spirit made it possible for them to live closely amongst one another in such dangerous times. Truly, they were committed to doing life together at great personal cost. It’s true. Life for these believers was tenuous at best. Life-threatening most of the time.

Yet they took Jesus’ commands and teachings to heart and were willing to live (and die) on this hill. Now lest we wrongly assume they sacrificed truth for unity as some churches and denominations are doing so today, they didn’t.

Unity begins with a humble heart

Rather, they listened, they learned, and they obeyed the mandates from Jesus. Together, as a group, they were of one heart and mind. And yes, this meant sacrificing personal preferences, personal gain, and personal privacy. For they understood to be strong in the Lord they needed one another.

As we study this portion of Scripture, we read that these men and women learned to steward and nurture unity even though they were a diverse group in their socio-economic status, their education, and their backgrounds. Diverse yes…but they chose unity.

Growth and change can be challenging seasons

I wonder how well the modern-day church emulates their biblical pattern of Christian living? Perhaps one of the most difficult times for believers to maintain this unity of heart and mind is when change and growth is happening all around them.

Isn’t that trying even for us in the modern age? Consider how a rapidly growing church alters and shifts to accommodate an influx of new members. It’s not easy. Think also about times of change when new leadership takes over and believers must learn to adjust to this sometimes difficult new reality. Change and growth are hard for all of us. Yes, even the church at large struggles with growing pains.

But as we ponder this powerful example from Acts, we can learn so much. Lest we grow discouraged or disgruntled when the comforting familiar gives way to uncomfortable and unknown, we must once again study Scripture and learn from those who came before us.

Unity amongst believers is a powerful entity

Unity is worth the effort. Unity is worth the fight. Unity is worth our personal sacrifice because together we are so much stronger, healthier, and ready to face trials and suffering in whatever form they may take.


Thoughts for Personal Reflection:

  1. Today reflect upon your local church body. Think about any seasons when growth and change challenged you to step up and to grow with these unfamiliar new developments.
  2. Ask yourself if you are willing to sacrifice personally (your comfort and ease) for the wellbeing of your church body. What does this look like in real life?
  3. If you are feeling overwhelmed or afraid of change, pray and ask God to settle your heart and mind. Prayerfully ask God to give you peace, calm, and joy that flourishes despite the growing pains of change.
About Michele Howe
Michele Howe is the author of 29 books for women, children, and families. She has published over 3000 articles, reviews, and curriculum. Her newest release is The Humble Life - Walking with Jesus through the Gospels. Read more about Michele and her work at You can read more about the author here.

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