*kicks soapbox out of the way so we’re on the same level, eye to eye*
I was watching Zootopia (which is a pretty fun film with some very timely messages). You know that scene where the gazelle gives the speech about celebrating our differences? From a seat a little ways away from me, I heard someone scoff and mutter, “Oh, brother.”
Somewhere in between those two words, other incidents sprang back. Like when I was in the car with someone and they spit out their window at a gay person’s car and called them names that no human being should ever be called.
I remembered being told that as a woman, I had no right to speak, and that because I was a young person, I was stupid.
What disturbed me was all these people called themselves Christians.
It made me wonder if we’ve gotten diversity all wrong. And it made me excited to think that we have a chance to make it right.
God created diversity. God created differences. He created two genders instead of one. He created all races, abilities, sizes, shapes, and personalities of people. And He called them all very good. (Genesis 1:31)
Somewhere, we got the nerve to call that good bad. Because of the fall, we can’t see things clearly on our own. That’s why we needed Jesus to die and rise again.
I, at least, have the tendency to take the saving grace, yes please, but I’ll keep using my own glasses, thank you very much.
But if Jesus died and rose for me, then He died and rose for anyone I might call “them.” He created them, too, called them good, and sees who they really are, can, and will be.
Nowhere do I see Jesus condemning other cultures—their traditions, the way they talk, the way they look, their viewpoints. He went out of His way to go through their area, to eat with them, to hear their story. (Matthew 9:9-13, Matthew 26:6-13, John 4)
We are missing out on so much by attacking, bullying, scoffing at, making fun, or even just ignoring our neighbors. I don’t have to be ashamed of my differences to love someone, just like they don’t have to either. I don’t need to push someone down so I can stand taller. Christ is all I need.
I know it hurts when someone does it to me. So why is it so hard for me to extend this common courtesy to someone different than me, someone I might not completely understand? (Luke 6:31)
Because the unknown is scary and fear is powerful. But perfect love casts out fear. (1 John 4:18) Have I been saved from fear or haven’t I? Who am I to call evil what God has called good?
But what if what someone else calls their diversity is tearing down what God called good?
It’s important to know the difference between preferences and standards here. Standards may hurt at first, but ultimately lead to a healing place. Preferences (when inserted into an argument) never heal, always hurt.
Political views aren’t worth tearing someone down. Dress codes aren’t worth it. Bible translations aren’t worth it. Church policies aren’t worth it. Worship music isn’t worth it.
But what about when it’s not just poking my preferences, but is actually tearing down the beautiful thing God gave them?
My God is big enough to handle it. If it weren’t for Him, I’d be in a far worse boat. If God can change my mind, He can change theirs. It’s not my job to “fix” them, and it’s nothing short of arrogant to believe it so. It’s my job to show them what God’s love and truth looks like in real time.
Jesus hung out with and talked to wrong people, too. How do you think I got here?
Even if it were my job to fix them, am I going to win them over by spitting on their car? I certainly wouldn’t listen to anyone who did that to me, much less want anything they had to offer. Love wins, not hate. Christ showed us that firsthand.
Everyone has a story. Everyone has feelings. Everyone has hurts, fears, hopes, and dreams. Everybody laughs and everybody cries. Everyone matters. God created everyone good and He loves them.
We’re all the same. Just in different ways.
And I want to listen. To see past labels and hear stories. To learn and to try and to experience and to love. (1 Corinthians 9:22)
After all the love He’s shown me . . . how much more should I? (1 John 4:19)
God loves diversity. God celebrates differences.
And so do I.
*now please enjoy a writing meme for your troubles*
Hi, I'm Rachel! I'm the author of the posts here at ProseWorthy. Thanks for stopping by!