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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of July 17, 2017

Do you lack the unity in community?

All Christians share a common bond—a belief in Jesus. But unfortunately that bond is often overlooked or damaged by strife and discord.

However, the Bible instructs Christians to live in harmony with one another and to bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another (Romans 12:16, Colossians 3:13). This need for love, harmony, and forgiveness is important because we, as Christians, cannot be an effective community without unity—and that means helping each other, forgiving each other, and walking in love with one another.

Galatians 6:2 says, Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. This means that if we help each other—in other words, walk in love—then we, as Christians, will fulfill Christ's law, which is to love one another (see John 13:34-35). Any Christian community must have unity.

Idolatry is to love what has been made more than the God who made it.

In Exodus 20:3-5, God gives Israel this command: "You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God."

It is easy to label an idol as some wooden or bronze statue, or a golden cow, or something else like that. And certainly, such things could be idols; however, an idol is much more than that. An idol is anything you put in front of God.

Ezekiel 14:3 says that "men have set up idols in their hearts," meaning that their internal priorities are wrong. Today, although probably very few people in Western culture still bow down to statues or other such physical idols, many people bow down to idols "in their hearts."

For example, money and status are things that we often place ahead of God. However, God is "a jealous God," and He demands first place in your life. Therefore, take to heart the instruction found in 1 John 5:21: "Dear children, keep yourselves from idols."

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