I love the fact that we don’t have to be the same! Don’t you?
It’s great to be free in who we are and to know that our unique lives are a part of the bigger picture. This makes a wonderful painting of God’s creation. Our unique features, our ethnicities, our cultural backgrounds and more make up the beautiful collage of His design. Creation itself reveals His glory through its vast display of colors, functions, and purposes that keep scientists on their toes.
How great is our God?
Our lives are made up of Beautiful Differences that speak of God’s personality and imagination. He made us each different on purpose, with the intent of painting a beautiful picture that only He can create. In His genius, He gave each of us unique gifts that fit together to form His body – the church! Jesus? church is diverse. Different people, cultures, talents, abilities, backgrounds and more combine as the love of God is seen through our Beautiful Differences.
However, this truth is a hurdle for a lot of people.
Differences can become the reason to divide or push others away. Intimidated by differences, we can feel the need to protect our own turf. This can happen in subtle ways, and can be based on race, ethnicity, politics, doctrines, style and more. When we let these things keep us apart, we are being divided by things that God actually made in order to bring Himself glory!
In truth, our fears and insecurities lead us away from those different than us. When we let that happen, we are limiting ourselves. You see, God made us with Beautiful Differences that can reveal unique aspects of Himself. We must not cave in to division over nonsense when God intended us to be together in unity. This is what I like to call “majoring on the minors,” and it’s missing the mark.
God hasn’t called us to make points. He’s called us to make a difference. We do this through His love. This means we don’t let doctrinal positions lead to debating or being dogmatic. This means we don’t let different stylistic preferences block us from receiving and connecting to God and others. This means we don’t let our political views keep us from loving and respecting others.
We must choose to see Beautiful Differences as a celebration of Jesus. We can choose to connect on more things than not. Our differences are meant to be a bridge of unity and understanding, a bridge to a bigger picture. This is Jesus, and this is His church. Our cause is to reach others with the same love that captivated us. Our arms should be wide open, embracing the Beautiful Differences.
This is why diversity is one of our core values at City. I’m humbled that we have 35 nationalities at this church, with different ethnicities and many backgrounds represented here. This is what heaven looks like!
“And they sang a new song with these words: “You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.”Revelation 5:9
Notice how it says “different tribes, languages, people and nations.” Jesus died for everybody, and it’s my belief that He wants us all together. This is heaven on earth, when we love, give, serve and unite together around the One who is greater than our Beautiful Differences – Jesus.
America needs this message right now! America needs the church to be all it’s supposed to be right now! This is where racism, sexism, division, discord, hatred and greed can be stopped and healed. This is where Jesus can be lifted up, so all people see the hope of the world. This is where our history can be healed through our Beautiful Differences.
Our moment is now, and you have a part to play. Please, let Jesus open your heart to those different than you. Please allow healing to move through you so others can experience a new reality. You are too important to limit yourself behind the guise of others differences.
We must remember that we represent Jesus to those who surround us. May they see His love through us.
Have a great week as you embrace our Beautiful Differences,