Here is a good recipe for brotherly peace and unity:
“For this end, we must be knit together, in this work, as one man. We must entertain each other in brotherly affection. We must be willing to abridge ourselves of our superfluities, for the supply of other’s necessities. We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience, and liberality. We must delight in each other; make other’s condition our own; rejoice together, mourn together, labour and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work, as members of the same body. So shall we keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. The Lord will be our God, and . . . make us a praise and a glory, that men shall say of succeeding plantations, ‘ The Lord make it like that of New England.'”
What do we think today is the real nature of being members of one body? Does it look like this?
As I read this, I see so much need to improve myself in this way. Look what it tells me to do! “Uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience, and liberality.” That means that when I am close together with people a lot, this is the attitude that I have to have. There is a saying in our time, “familiarity breeds contempt.” That is a sad observation about human nature. The more time we spend in close proximity with others, the more opportunity and likelihood there is that we will feel less than friendly towards one another. This ought not be the case among brothers in the Lord.
Another difficult part of this instruction is: “Make other’s condition our own; rejoice together, mourn together, labour and suffer together.” We are so selfish that this is counter to all that we naturally are inclined to do.
May God help us to grow and become more like Him.