As I have pondered and prayed over the recent tragic killing of George Floyd and the responses to it, my thoughts have turned to the idea of diversity. Why does it seem we love diversity when it comes to possessions but not when it comes to people?
Over my lifetime, the word diversity has taken on many meanings. But my main question is what God has to say about it.
Diversity was God’s idea.
Look at God’s creation. Even a precipitous study of science reveals an incredible variety of plant and animal life. For example, there are over 400,00 flowering plant species across the world and between 9,000-10,000 species of birds.
What about people?
Human beings, God’s final creation, are also diverse. God created two genders that differ greatly and yet compliment one another. He created different skin tones, hair textures, eye colors, and body types. Each person is made in God’s image (Gen 1:27) with His thoughtful design (Psalm 139: 13-14).
People are the pinnacle of God’s creation—His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10). Every person is valuable to God—whether male or female, rich or poor, black, white, brown or somewhere in between.
God doesn’t discriminate in His design. He does not regard one person greater than another. We are all His treasure.
“Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?” Matthew 6:26-30
Oh, yes. Our God delights in diversity.
The book of Revelation describes a final gathering of the great variety of God’s people.
“After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands.” Revelation 7:9
Although diverse, we were all created in need of God’s saving grace.
People were created in God’s image but were also given free will. The Fall of Man affects us all. Because of sin, we all fall short of God’s glory.
“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” Romans 3:23
God does not have favorites.
He sent His son Jesus to die for all of our sins—while we were all still sinners (Romans 5:8).
My friends, prejudice is learned.
It would seem our culture has revered diversity itself rather than the One who created that very diversity. An unhealthy emphasis on diversity tends to highlight our differences. This leads to prejudice and division.
God is more concerned with unity.
“There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” Ephesians 4:5
We must embrace God’s view of diversity and unity then teach it to our children.
The Only Weapon for Intolerance of Diversity is Love.
Violence and hatred will never overcome prejudice or favoritism.
“Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” Romans 12:21
God’s Love is Demonstrated By Our Love of Others.
Because our Lord values diversity and all human life, Christians should do the same.
As followers of Christ and image-bearers of God, the recent violent and hateful responses taking place across our country as a result of the horrific killing of George Floyd should inspire us to take time for some serious and prayerful self-analysis of our own attitude toward diversity.
Does it align with God’s? If we ask the Father, He will reveal where we may need to make personal changes. Real change starts with the person in the mirror.
Christ died for the freedom of all people. What will Christians do with that freedom?
“When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!’ ” ~Martin Luther Kind Jr.
Let us remember our goal is to become more like Christ and share the Good News of His love and grace with others, no matter the color of their skin or any other difference.
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For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:13
Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
But in every nation he that fears him, and works righteousness, is accepted with him.
You’ve expressed beautifully, Beckie, who we are as Christians, and what we should be proclaiming in this world, especially during these horrific times. Praying for healing and restoration in this country, that hearts and minds will turn to God in repentance.
“My friends, prejudice is learned.
It would seem our culture has revered diversity itself rather than the One who created that very diversity. An unhealthy emphasis on diversity tends to highlight our differences. This leads to prejudice and division.”
“Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say to you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham.”
Luke 3: 8
“When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then has God also to the Gentiles granted repentance to life.”
“The Only Weapon for Intolerance of Diversity is Love.
Violence and hatred will never overcome prejudice or favoritism.”
As in any relationship, differences exist and are part of the cultural DIVERSITY of peoples and individuals.
WISDOM, BEAUTY and CHARM is to overcome these differences with LOVE !!!
Simply beautiful and powerful, Beckie. Amen to this truth: “The Only Weapon for Intolerance of Diversity is Love.”