When I was younger, I took ballet lessons. One of they things the taught us was how to spin gracefully across the floor. In order to do this we were instructed to fix our eyes on a point on the wall, and with our gaze held steady to spin towards it. As we whipped our head and arms around we were told to place our eyes right back on the same point. With our eyes concentrated in one spot it helped ensure that we would spin in a straight line – and prevented little girls from tumbling into each other as we learned ballet.
In Scripture, we frequently see the call for brothers and sisters in Christ to be united to one another. Paul makes an appeal towards this goal in I Corinthians 1. Yet, despite our knowledge that we are to be united, it can seem like we figuratively bump into each other a lot. Our ability to all head in the same direction often seems compromised. Instead of a collection of committed saints, we may appear has a chaotic mess of individual believers.
As he makes his appeal to the Corinth church, Paul also writes how achieving this unity is possible. Just like my eyes had to remain fixed on a single spot as I spun across the floor, so the eyes of believers must remain glued to a common focal point – Jesus Christ. If He is our common standard, then increasingly as our lives are transformed to look more like His, there should be less deviations amongst each other as well. This means that we have to accept Jesus as He has revealed Himself in His Word (and not create our own presuppositions of what the Son of God should be like), and that He must be our common aim. As this is increasingly true, so should we be increasingly united as a family of God.
With all the differences that exist between personality profiles and individual proclivities, the call to unity may seem unobtainable. However, as disagreements and differences of opinions arise, if Christ is our standard, if He is our arbitrator and we are willing to submit ourselves to Him, then the important issues should find resolution in Who He is and what He says. It is when we start using other bases for advocating our position that we get into divisive groups. May all brothers and sisters in Christ keep our eyes fixed on Him – the founder and perfecter of our faith – and as we do so, may we be united in turning towards Him.