Finding Unity in a Divided World

Wisdom from Steven Curtis Chapman

In a world that seems increasingly divided, many Christ-followers find themselves wrestling with how to navigate these tumultuous times. Steven Curtis Chapman, a celebrated Christian artist, shared some thoughts with the Family Life Radio team that offers a reflective pause.

Steven started off by echoing the sentiments of many, saying, “I have, like all of us, been deeply troubled by and just concerned by the division that has happened in our world, in our nation and our churches.” His point hits close to home for so many of us as we also experience a sense of turmoil and division. So what’s the first step? Steven says, “I have prayed a lot and wrestled with it personally.”

Jesus often retreated to pray when confronted with monumental tasks. Wrestling with God isn’t a sign of weak faith but a deep engagement with Him. When faced with division in your community or your heart, praying and wrestling with God could bring more clarity than you might think.

Steven suggest we ask, “What is it going to look like to be faithful with this moment?” He goes on to say, “I believe God has always spoken into  moments throughout history – through His people and through His followers. Sometimes you see it profoundly at the time. Sometimes it’s not until years later. You can almost trace it and say, ‘Well, you know, what God was saying through His people during that time was profound and was more impactful than maybe we even realized at the time.’ We’ve also seen times when we wonder, ‘God, where are your people?’”

Steven Curtis Chapman

Steven offers a second question: “What does it look like to steward this moment in history – even for me personally?” He admits he has wrestled with it, particularly from a place of leadership from the platform. And he says, “I’ve written a whole new album full of songs that really have been responses to a lot of that for me personally, as I’ve wrestled with it and considered what does it look like right now for God’s people?”

The Power of Kindness

One solution to the divisive atmosphere comes from a book that deeply impacted Steven—Barry Corey’s “Love Kindness.” Steven reflected on Jesus’ approach to a world often against Him, saying, “He did it by the way of kindness.” In a society that frequently equates kindness with weakness, this message is counter cultural. Yet, as Steven says, “The worst of the worst in His culture wanted Him hanging around; something was going on with that.”

Jesus’ kindness was never a compromise; it was His strategy for engagement. Kindness has the ability to break down walls and assumptions, allowing for a deeper conversation about faith, life and God’s love.

Next time you find yourself at odds with someone, try kindness as your first line of defense.

“Barry Corey, the president of Biola University in California talks in his amazing book about what it’s going to look like for us as followers of Jesus, as people of faith – followers of what we believe to be the way the truth and the life in Christ – to really engage in our culture. That [culture] has never felt more, in many ways, opposed to the message of Christian faith or at least more divided even around how we’re going to convey that and how we’re going to engage with the culture.”

Firm Center, Soft Edges

Steven offers a compelling paradigm for believers today, one of having a “firm center but soft edges.” He suggests that our core beliefs, grounded in the Bible and our relationship with God, can remain unshaken even as we adopt a gentler approach to sharing those beliefs with others.

This concept of ‘firm center, soft edges’ offers a middle ground for those of us struggling with maintaining our convictions while avoiding harshness or judgment. It’s not a dilution of faith, but an application of it that reflects Jesus’ own methods.

Role of Peacemakers:

“Jesus said, it’s gonna be the peacemakers,” Steven reminded us, echoing the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus proclaimed, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9 KJV). In a world where your worth can often be measured by the strength of your arguments, this teaching from Jesus and reminder from Steven is refreshing.

Steven emphasized, “It’s going to be those who look for the opportunity to build a bridge instead of a wall and engage with each other in love, knowing ultimately that God the one who knows the answers and not us. We’re going engage with each other in a way that says let’s try to find ways to make peace, and that has just really been convicting for me.”

If you’re trying to figure out how to engage with people who hold differing views being a peacemaker offers a Christ-like strategy.

Steven urges us to be open to difficult conversations, encouraging, “Let’s try to find ways to make peace.”

As Christ-followers, our role is not to win an argument but to reflect Jesus’ love. “Let’s have that dialogue in those kinds of conversations,” Steven said, stressing the importance of mutual respect and listening in our interactions.

By taking a peacemaker’s approach, we become facilitators of unity rather than contributors to division. When we echo Steven’s sentiments and act as peacemakers, we open the door for God to move in ways we might not expect.

Want more? Check out our on demand resources



Family Life Radio is listener supported. Those who listen give to make the music and content possible to shine God’s love, peace and encouragement into hearts, revealing truths that direct people in the way they should go.

If you feel led to give a gift today to help others draw strength, gain wisdom and experience peace through Family Life Radio click here.

More Blog for Show: Kankelfritz & Friends