The Scriptural Foundation

Ephesians 4:1-3 (NKJV) says:

“I beseech you therefore, I, the prisoner in the Lord, to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called, With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, bearing one another in love, Being diligent to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace.”

Paul’s exhortation in these verses highlights the virtues necessary to maintain the oneness of the Spirit among believers. As “prisoners in the Lord,” we are called to walk worthily of our calling, and this worthy walk is characterized by specific virtues that preserve unity and harmony in the body of Christ.

Virtues for Preserving Oneness

a. Lowliness: Lowliness involves remaining humble and not thinking more highly of oneself than one ought. Galatians 6:1 warns against self-deception, reminding us that those who see themselves as something special will not bear the burdens of others. Philippians 2:3-4 reinforces this, urging believers to regard others as more significant than themselves, thus promoting a spirit of humility that supports unity.

b. Meekness: Meekness is characterized by a lack of self-defense and a willingness to endure opposition without resistance. Jesus described Himself as “meek and lowly in heart” (Matthew 11:29), and Moses is cited as the meekest man on earth (Numbers 12:1-10; 16:1-5, 31-32). Meekness allows us to respond to challenges and opposition with grace, maintaining harmony in the body.

c. Long-Suffering: Long-suffering is the ability to endure mistreatment with patience. This virtue is crucial in our interactions with others, enabling us to bear with one another in love and avoid the pitfalls of impatience and frustration.

d. Bearing with One Another in Love: Combining the virtues of lowliness, meekness, and long-suffering, we are called to bear with one another in love. This means more than mere tolerance; it involves a genuine effort to support and uplift each other, especially those who may be troublesome. Philippians 4:4-9 encourages us to rejoice in the Lord always, which enables us to live without anxiety and maintain the peace of God, fostering a supportive and loving community.

Negative Behaviors to Avoid

To maintain the one accord, we must also avoid certain negative behaviors that disrupt unity:

i. Bitterness: Bitterness arises from prolonged unforgiveness and deep-seated anger. Offenses will occur, but we must not hold onto our anger. Ephesians 4:26 advises us not to let the sun go down on our anger, as prolonged anger leads to bitterness, which poisons relationships and disrupts unity.

ii. Wrath and Anger: Anger is a natural response to real or perceived grievances, while wrath is an intense, destructive form of anger. Both need to be managed carefully to prevent discord.

iii. Clamour: Clamour refers to loud and persistent outcries, often during protests or arguments. Such behavior can create chaos and division.

iv. Evil Speaking: Evil speaking, or slander, involves spreading false information to harm someone’s reputation. This behavior is destructive and undermines trust within the community.

v. Gossip: Gossip involves informal discussions about others, usually in their absence, and often leads to misunderstandings and conflicts.

vi. Malice: Malice is the desire to see others suffer or to cast them in a negative light. This attitude is completely contrary to the love and unity we are called to uphold.

Positive Behaviors to Embrace

f. Kindness: Kindness involves being warm-hearted, considerate, humane, and sympathetic. 1 Corinthians 13:4 tells us, “Love is kind.” Practicing kindness fosters a supportive and loving community.

g. Tenderheartedness: Being tenderhearted means being easily moved to love and inclined to show kindness. It involves a sensitivity to the needs and feelings of others.

h. Forgiving One Another: Forgiveness is essential for maintaining unity. It involves pardoning, showing mercy, and overlooking faults and wrongdoings. As followers of Christ, we are called to forgive as He has forgiven us. When we live by the life of Christ within us, forgiveness becomes a natural expression of our Christian walk.


To enhance the one accord of believers, we must embody virtues such as lowliness, meekness, long-suffering, and love. Simultaneously, we must avoid negative behaviors like bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, evil speaking, gossip, and malice. By embracing positive behaviors such as kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness, we can preserve the unity of the Spirit and walk worthily of our calling in Christ. Let us strive to maintain harmony in the body of Christ, fostering a community that reflects the love and grace of our Lord.