Honor and Diversity
Galatians 3:28 says: “In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” This world is set up to divide- politics, gangs, races, etc. have been created and they cause division between people. Division is evil. It comes down to ego and pride-- and these are of the world. A lot of the times Churches struggle with having these divisions enter into their walls; and that’s not ok.
At work, in society, in church, why does diversity so often bring hurtful divisions?
Here are my answers:
1. We tend to be wary of those who are different from us.
We have to learn to get over our biases, and those biases that we grew up believing, or learning from others.
2. We attribute bad motives to the actions of others.
We often get selfish in our assumptions; and assume the worst out of something they do that we feel hurt by. Most of the time if you talk about it; their intentions were not malicious.
3. People with different values or interests can become destructively competitive.
We are always competing and trying to see who is “better” or who is “right”
John 17:20-21 says: “I ask that they may all be one so that the world may believe You have sent Me”.
When You honor, you open your own life up to change. We naturally want to make people different than us, like us. We want them to have the same opinions that we do. You have to be open to change, because someone’s ideas could be better than what you’ve always done!
1 Corinthians 13:5 says “or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 1 Corinthians 13:5 ESV”
You also have to recognize that you don’t have the right to judge the motives of others.
Romans 14:4 says “Who are you to pass judgment on the servants of another? It is before their own Lord that they stand or fall”.
We need to recognize that there is more than one than one right way to think and behave. Sometimes things are black and white; but the majority of decisions and opinions are formed on experiences.
Romans 15:1 and 14:1 says: Welcome one another … but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions
In order to pursue diversity, we need to get as close to Heaven as possible. That comes with the realization that not everyone is the same. Heaven will be a mixture of races, music, ideas, etc. Don’t let differences in opinions be the center of the majority of your conversations.
Recognise that not one of us can stand alone. We can’t be the church without our differences; but we need each other. We need to honor the differences in each other. Find out what you can identify in each other and in your opinions/differences that you can honor each other through.
Romans 14:7 says “We do not live to ourselves and we do not die to ourselves”.
Find someone who is different than you. Invest in them and learn your differences and how you can honor each other through them!