The Beauty of Diversity
Chizaso M.G. Chunga of Lilongwe, Malawi
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. -Matthew 5:38-45
For a long time I was the kind of a person who thought diversity among the members of the body of Christ was evil. Those people who differed were regarded as sinful. My opinions were always the best. I evaluated people using the capabilities I had in life. Everyone was supposed to be like me. I was the better standard in other people’s lives. But I realized that diversity brings beauty to God’s creation. And above all it is one of God’s ways of molding the body of Christ to be what God wants it to be. All the differences among the believers are God’s intention. It is not by accident. God intended it for the good of humankind.
I had a friend who always differed with me. Every time he differed with me, I felt very bad. I would tell him that he was not a good friend. One day I ended our relationship. I told him he could no longer be my friend because we were different. He felt bad about it. And I tried befriending another person. Within few weeks of our friendship I discovered that this new friend was also different from me. I felt he was worse than the previous friend.
From that day I started asking myself, what is wrong with everyone? I discovered that the problem was my ignorance of the fact that diversity is God’s idea. We will always differ in preferences, motivations, and priorities, but there should be something which must unite us, and we should establish our relationships on those things that unite us, not on differences.
Someone’s weakness sometimes becomes a tool God uses to work in us. Many people who differ from us have really helped us to understand ourselves and understand other things more clearly than before. They have made us realize and utilize our weaknesses and strengths. Finding someone who will never differ with you will never be possible in this life. Just appreciate your differences. Appreciate variety among God’s creation and let it be that way.
Wherever I am, God is here.
Breathe deeply and prayerfully consider the story you have just read. What is the Spirit’s invitation to you in these words? What does it look like to wake up to God’s presence in this moment?
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