Should We Celebrate Differences?
Why do we fight against diversity within the Body of Christ…we make it about ourselves, forgetting the beauty that comes in diversity. Natalie reminds us how to celebrate our differences.
“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:4-5
The body of Christ is diverse. We are ONE body made up of people gifted in different ways. We all serve a unique purpose and have different functions.
Why do we fight against this truth? Why do hands want to be feet and feet want to be eyes? We build up walls between each other when we let jealousy and judgement creep in because we are more concerned with our differences or we wish we were gifted differently. We make it about self and forget the beauty that comes in diversity.
Only in and through Jesus can we, as the body of Christ, be unified in our differences so we might function together and ultimately bring Him glory. Instead of creating more division through our differences, how can we choose to celebrate/embrace our uniqueness?
- Speak life into where we see someone gifted. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” (Proverbs 18:21) Something powerful happens when we call things out in people they might not see in themselves. Maybe a friend is gifted in a way we would like to be gifted. Instead of letting jealousy or bitterness have a foothold, speak truth over them and celebrate their gifting.
- Intentionally get to know someone with whom we might not have anything in common. This is a tough one because if you are like me then you have a tendency to do what is comfortable. I love the friends I have, and the thought of opening myself up to someone I may not have anything in common with seems a little daunting. However, it is through these types of relationships we see new perspectives and see the world in a new light – this is where growth happens.
- Embrace our function in the body. “All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He distributes them (spiritual gifts) to each one, just as He determines.” (1 Corinthians 12:11) As we learn to embrace our unique place in the body of Christ, we allow for others to be able to do the same. There is freedom in being who we were created to be.
Here’s the thing – as we learn to celebrate each other and embrace our differences, we will find we are more effective as the body of Christ. I think this is why Jesus spoke so boldly about us being different from each other, and how significant that is in order for the body to function properly.
My prayer is that we can be people who fight for each other and are ultimately unified in our diversity for the sake of the Gospel.
How do you treat people at school who are different than you? Do you wrestle with jealousy or possibly feeling like you are better than them? Jesus will gladly wrestle with you. I challenge you to get to know people from different backgrounds…I bet you find some things very interesting and valuable!