And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. Gen 1:24
February 25, 2022
People are Diverse
There are no two people that are just alike; we are diverse. Even twins, whether identical or fraternal, differ in their personality and fingerprints. Only God could make every human being unique down to the fingerprints. The uniqueness or diversity of people may serve as a reason for hatred or jealousy that could cause disruptions within families, society or nations. The first murder on earth was a result of jealousy between the brothers Cain and Able over differences. We are today seeing these types of conflict on the local level and as well as national and international stages. If only we had the ability to understand and resolve them! There is nothing wrong with differences or diversity. What is wrong though is the projection of negative reactions toward people who have no power to change those differences.
We are instructed by our Creator to not despise any person. God made diversity in human beings, animals, trees, flowers, etc.; and of everything He made, “God saw that it was good” (Gen. 1:12). God commanded everything to produce after its kind but there were many kinds. He later told mankind: “What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common or unclean (Act 10:14).” So what God has sanctified or approved, man does not have the right to redefine as ungodly or evil.
Christ has commanded God’s children to love our neighbor as ourselves. He has also told us to love our enemies: “…Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you (Lk 6:27).” Love for one another is the fruit that Jesus said would distinguish His disciples from the children of the enemy. This command does not permit any exception to the command of divine love based on looks, behavior or ethnicity. This command is replicated in the American creed that “all men are created equal.” The nation is yet to live up to it, but it still stands as a challenge to racial prejudice.
Love Beyond Human Ability
Our world manifests all kinds of physical characteristics in its people. Regardless of those differences though, God expects us to love all people. Remember God calls us to a higher love than is normal for humans. Christ was the example God gave us, showing love for all kinds of people, even the diseased, demon possessed or threatening. Our identification with Him as “Christians” calls for us to exercise that discipline and He has left us the ability to do so. Those that refuse to operate in love reveal that they are not born of God.
Jesus Christ submitted to baptism; received the Holy Spirit and said that He had learned obedience through the things He suffered. Clearly, not needing any of that, He did it for us.
And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. Joh 1:33
And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. Mt. 3:15
Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered. Heb 5:8
We know that in Jesus dwelt the Godhead bodily (Col 2:9), but Jesus went through the process of sanctification to show us our path to the Father. Our flesh man does not want to love others the way Jesus or the Father loves all people. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to walk in the love of the Father for others. It is not a natural love but a divine love that empowers us to love our enemies. That divine love helps us to look beyond the behavior, appearance, or ethnicity of a person. Divine love gives us respect for every person made in the image of God. Every person not in Christ has an opportunity to be changed through accepting Christ in a born again experience and receiving the love of God in his heart.
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another (Joh 13:35).”
Our natural man, regardless of age, behaves like a child. Little children have temper tantrums over things they like, want or dislike. This natural man is also under the influence of Satan and is subject to spirits of jealousy, anger, greed, lust and covetousness, etc. These spirits are defeated by the power of the Holy Spirit when He comes into their heart. Christ has shown man how to behave lovingly toward people that are different from us. Empowered with love, we learn how to walk and draw from the spirit the same force Christ illustrated walking it in earth. Holy Spirit leads us to love like the Father. We are compelled to receive this power of God, but it is our choice.
Diversity Made by God
Diversity was formed in the mind of God. It makes the floral arrangement of a bouquet of flowers more beautiful. I think the world’s people probably look like a bouquet of flowers to God. He is focused though on tender hearts and loving spirits, rather than our flesh. Diversity is like spice added to a dish. Diversity is represented in a love relationship, but what would happen if either person was angry or jealous of those differences and caused conflict. The uniqueness of the difference should enhance affection rather than cause friction. The attention God put into the details of everything He made came from love, not hate. Our imitation of Christ should cause us to appreciate diversity like He does.
In the spirit of this month’s Valentine’s Day, let me use it as an opportunity to discuss more about love relationships between a man and a woman. God meant for them to be together because He made Adam from the dust of the earth and formed His wife, Eve, from Adam’s rib. God made them with very clear differences. Their differences complement each other and were intended to make each better though their union as one. Even their disagreements would be a plus because iron sharpest iron and we benefit by having a sounding board. What would happen though if one of them coveted the gift of the other? What if there were issues of abuse and dominance? That would be self-defeating and hinder the work they were destined to do for God. We are each given the gift God wants us to have and we glorify Him when that gift fully blossoms. Love should cause us to respect the gifting of others. Our gift is just as important and precious when fully exercised. So issues of misogyny (hate of women) and abuse of women works against the plan of God because it hinders their full potential. Jesus allowed them to enjoy liberty and He fellowshipped, supported and respected their gifting. Even in the Old Testament, where women were limited; God allowed the woman, Deborah (Jg 4:4), to lead an army. God is not prejudiced against various kinds of flesh.
But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart (1Sa 16:7).
Accepting Diversity as a Protection
Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.1Co 12:4 -7
A unified home front is needed for a defense against foes that come from without. When the enemy can divide the home base through differences, it serves to weaken the defense against an enemy. Jesus declared that a house divided cannot stand. The consequences certainly are direr when a nation is divided. In the home and church we should learn principles of love, respect and cooperation that are necessary to defend the physical and spiritual family and these traits are transferrable to community work at large. When our churches teach the congregation how to properly accept differences, it also prepares them to be well-rounded office holders in the community, state and nation. This statement alone helps to reveal why we see a lack in our society.
There are many areas of diversity and any of them could potentially cause us to be in disagreement with someone else, but God asks us to consider that all people are made in His image. There is more that should unite us as humans, brethren, family, co-workers, etc. than should divide us. If the world follows the leading of evil spirits and satisfy flesh desires to please self, we are destined for defeat. God has called us to Himself and to be filled with His spirit which solidifies our unity and stands against Satan’s snares so that we exhibit love of others and manifest His glory throughout the world.
When our people fail to obtain the discipline of love in their early home life or in church, we might well see ill-prepared adults trying to lead our society. Our morals are developed from our early home life and biblical training; and if those morals are skewed, however misguided they may be, the subsequent professional office may likewise be affected. We see it now working its will in the U.S. Congress and among our people nationwide where propaganda and a false gospel swayed by personal prejudices caused Americans to war against each other over lies. When we remember from the scriptures that jealousy, lying, greed, prejudice, selfishness, oppression and abuse are the characteristics of the devil and signs that one has been led astray by the enemy working to defeat God’s will; we ought to stop and think about what we are doing and the results it will bring.
Biblical experiences help us to realize that we war “…not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph 6:12)”. It is not the physical appearance of a person that determines character, but rather it is the spirit that guides them from within. Fleshy desires appeal to what feels good to us for the moment and feeding those desires will take one further from what is right and into a chaotic abyss where neighbor wars against neighbor over temporal things. Battles and conflicts, whether little or great, could seem very complicated when it really just breaks down to someone satisfying their own fleshly desire rather than showing love and respect for neighbor. Diversity controversies at the voting booth, in local affairs, or in national conflicts; result because the spirits within leads someone into acting out or performing at a level of authority based on the leading of that spirit. There will always be diversities, even in the home; but when we learn to start respecting diversities within the home, we can begin to learn respect for them in the community at large, rather than opposing them.
Diversity is not wrong because of its difference. God gives us diversities of gifts but they all come from love and work together to protect the body of Christ. We test the nature of a person by examining their fruit or actions to detect whether the spirit leading is right or wrong according to the word of God. As children of God, we learn to accept what He accepts and hate what He hates, but God will withhold final judgment until the end. Everyone while living has the opportunity to turn to God and choose His love. The same grace we want God to show us by waiting for us to get it right, we should be willing to show that same grace to others. That reveals why God commands us to pray for our enemies. God is the one who fights against our enemies; and when we seek His face, He will tell what He requires of us (1Sa 30:8). Children of God have victory over the devil through Jesus Christ and we walk in that victory. We are spiritually enlisted in His army on the earth, and we are His tools to bring about the vision of God for the earth. Our battle is a spiritual one and we are enlisted in the battle against evil. The battle becomes easier when we take on Christ’s spiritual image and walk like Him. The tests of our love prompted by diversity are a type of measuring stick to help us know where we stand in the spirit of love. The good news is always that if we are on the wrong side, Jesus has come to extend grace to us for forgiveness and grace to change and be like Him (I Jo 1:9). Until Christ comes back to take the saints home, we are commanded to love and help people to come into the arc of safety as the family of God and be ready to go back with Him when He comes. Until then, may God help us to love all people like He does.
And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves:
for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. 1Pe 4:8