There are a few key points that God always impresses upon me. One of these is the body of Christ and the need for unity. Something that just hit me today is pretty interesting. When Paul writes to the Corinthians he writes two important thoughts right next to each other. In 1 Corinthians 12 he talks about the body of Christ and the need to work together and then immediately following that in chapter 13, he talks about love. I really dont think this is random coincidence.
The body is made up of different parts and each part serves it's own function. 1 Corinthians 12:19 says "If they were all one part, where would the body be". I think this explains why we have so many Christians who have completely different convictions. The problem is when we argue over those different convictions. One person believes Christian rock is evil, while another uses it as a witnessing tool. I whole heartedly believe that this is by design. The problem is when we fight amongst ourselves over who is right and who is wrong. Paul points this out in verses 15 and 16. When the Chrisitan body spends so much time fighting amongst themselves, there is an entire world that is going to hell.
I think this is why Paul writes about love immediately following the thought on the Body of Christ. It is in love that we are to except each part of the body and work together. One verse that really jumps out at me is 1 Corinthians 13:12. "Now I see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." This kind of tells me that Paul is giving us a really big hint that we are supposed to love without understanding. We dont understand the full picture and we dont (and can't) understand what it is that God is doing. The body of Christ is something that we can't fully understand, but we're being told that we need to love it anyway. It's crucial to what God's purpose is in our lives -- everyone's lives. Someday it will be revealed to us and we will see what He was doing all along. For right now, we need to love the body and love the lost. We need to walk in faith on this. Paul even tells us in the last verse of 13 that faith, hope, and love are all important. He also makes it clear that the greatest of those three is love. I love my girlfriend and subsequently have faith that she loves me back. I love God and subsequently have faith that He loves me back. I think love is a crucial element of faith so if we can't love the church down the street from our church, then we can't have faith that God is doing something really awesome.