“I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me. I have given them the glory that You gave Me, that they may be one as We are one — I in them and You in Me — so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me.
Father, I want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, and to see My glory, the glory You have given Me because You loved Me before the creation of the world.
Righteous Father, though the world does not know You, I know You, and they know that You have sent Me. I have made You known to them, and will continue to make You known in order that the love You have for Me may be in them and that I Myself may be in them” (verses 20-26).
Jesus’ desire here is for us to be one people, unified under God. He wants the world to know that He was sent from the Father to save us. Our unity in Christ has a purpose: to show the world the truth and power of the Gospel. Our unity is meant to be a reflection of the triune God to the rest of the world.
As Christ-followers from different backgrounds, cultures and nations, there will be times when we don’t necessarily agree with each other on certain topics, but we should continually seek to understand what our brothers and sisters are saying so we can be an advocate for one another. We need to seek how to love each other despite our differences, seeking unity in Christ. Our love for Christ will drive us to get out of our comfort zone and seek to love others as well.
This can be hard in the age we live in. With social media, we’re exposed to so many people’s personal opinions. There have been times, even today, when someone on Twitter, who professes to be a Christ-follower, says something about a hot social topic that I don’t agree with, and like anyone else, I start to get upset. If I’m not careful, I can respond quickly and come across in a way that displays anger.
But I have to understand that people come from different backgrounds. I need to ask for discernment about how to respond to this person. Who knows if they truly are a Christ-follower seeking actual truth, or if they are just trying to be antagonistic.
It’s hard to express ourselves accurately and appropriately in 240 characters. On social media, we can instantly engage with people whom we’ve never even met and begin arguments, or we can decide to listen to what the other person has to say and then explain your point of view in humility. If we serve the same God, the hope is that we at least see aspects where we are wrong or have respect for the other person’s view.
There are certain hot topics that people tend to get emotional about really quickly: race, sanctity of life, marriage, homosexuality, economics, poverty, the list goes on. But we need to seek how to address these important subjects from a place of love and humility, honoring the teaching and prompting we receive from the Lord.
My teammates know my desire is to discover truth, speak the truth in love and consider an opinion outside of my own. Since I’ve been in the league for a long time and I’ve been actively vocal about many topics circulating the media, many of my teammates come up and ask me my opinion on different issues. It’s flattering to me, but it also shows me that when you’re willing to speak out about certain topics in a way where others don’t feel attacked, people are more likely to listen and respect what you have to say.
You never know the impact you have on people. Sometimes I feel like I’m just going to work, playing ball, then coming home, only to do it all over again. But then I hear about something someone tells someone else about me and I realize that I really can make an impact. We all make an impact on other people, even when we don’t know it. People are watching; people are listening.
Maybe you won’t see the impact for a day, a month, a year, or ever; maybe you just did something for a friend which someone else observed. In everything you do, your job is to be as much like Christ as you can. The world will know Christ through the way we allow Him to shine through our lives.
— Benjamin Watson, NFL tight end
Benjamin Watson is a regular contributor to The Increase and will be providing monthly articles and opinions.
Check out Benjamin’s Increase profile here: https://theincrease.com/author/benjaminwatson/
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