Whenever I hear the word, “unity”, I think about the song U.N.I.T.Y. by Queen Latifah. I was and still am a big fan of her music. (Warning: before you go looking up this song, there is profanity) This song is about black people being unified instead of tearing each other apart with our words and actions, particularly in relation to black men and women. At the time when the song came out, hip hop music was popular and the videos displayed black women as bit#hes and h@es (Sadly, many still do!). She also presents a verse where she addresses young ladies who want to emulate gang culture by fighting in the street against other young ladies for street cred. Latifah’s message is that black men and women should be unified, through respect and love for one another. U.N.I.T.Y.! I’m still down for this message!
In fact, this message isn’t new. One thing you should know is that I tend to see EVERYTHING through a biblical lens. So, here we go. Turn with me to the book of Philippians! LOL
Paul wrote a letter to the church in Philippi to thank them for all of the love, gifts, and support that they had given to him. But even more, he stresses over and over by way of whole passages and small pronouns the importance of UNITY.
1:4, “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel…”
1:7, “...all of you share in God’s grace with me..”
1:25 “...I will remain with you for your joy and your progress in the faith…”
1:27 “...stand firm in one spirit, contending as one for the faith of the gospel…”
2:1 “...being unified with Christ...in fellowship with the Spirit...be like-minded...be one in spirit and purpose…”
2:27 “do everything without complaining or arguing...shine like stars in the universe…”
3:3 “We who are the circumcision...we who worship by the Spirit of God…”
3:17 “...our citizenship is in heaven....we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ…”
4:2 “...agree with each other in the Lord…”
4:14 “...share in my (our) troubles…”
4:20 “to our God and Father be glory…”
Paul reminds them (and us) that, while we have our own differences, our own uniqueness, our own thoughts, and our own individuality as children of God, we have one powerful Spirit that unites us from now until eternity: Jesus Christ.
Remember sister, the opposition is not your sister. We have an enemy and he is doing enough already to tear us apart! Let's live in unity so we can shine like stars in the universe and hold up the word of life. (Phil. 2:14-16)