Friday, October 23, 2015

Diversity Makes Us Complete

Here's another word from the book Write Well, Speak Well (Houghton Mifflin) that caught my eye. It's a word that is often misused and confused. The word is...

com.ple.ment (kŏm′plǝ-mǝnt); noun; Something that completes, makes up a whole, or brings to perfection.

Example: The large beautiful tree still held its full complement of leaves.

Looking at the definition for this word made me think of some other things that have come up recently in my church. We have been studying our fundamental doctrines lately and one of the teachings focused on the church and its mission. The apostle Paul writes in the book of Romans, chapter 12, verses 4 and 5:

4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. (English Standard Version)

This basically teaches individual Christians that even though they are unique individuals, performing different functions, they all belong to one another and only together do they make up the full body of Christ—the Church. One member cannot say to another, "I don't need you." Each member is needed to make up the full complement and to bring it to perfection.
The diversity of Saints around the throne of heaven.

Where there is division and hate, there is brokenness.

Now, think about that in the context of the human race. God has created each human being in His image and in His likeness. Yet, we are all unique persons. I think the greatest picture of God can only be obtained when a diverse group of individuals comes together and learns to appreciate differences. And diversity to me is way more than language and culture (although the Bible gives a great picture of heaven when it says there were individuals "from every tribe and language and people and nation" worshiping God around the throne; see Revelation 5:9). Diversity involves personality, interests, skills, dreams, gender, and color. Think of all the wonderful things we could bring to the table if we would only believe that we belong to one another.

Now, don't misunderstand me. I am not advocating that we should all lay down our beliefs and convictions in the name of unity. I am, after all, unapologetically a preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I cannot help it. After some deep and sincere soul searching, Christ saved me and called me into the ministry twenty-eight years ago at the age of fifteen. He is as real to me as everything we see. I talk to Jesus every day and I have dedicated my life to spreading the Good News that there is hope for everyone who calls on the name of Jesus! But, I try to do it in accordance with the Scripture with gentleness and respect.

What I am proposing is that we remember we are all first born of God. There is something to be appreciated in each human being. There is something to respect about the image of God they bear. They may not recognize they bear His image and likeness, and their behaviors may sometimes make it hard to see, but in them are the attributes of their Creator. And our Creator loves us. We should love one another too. It is through His love displayed that people have a chance to respond to God and love Him back.

We, friends, belong to one another. Together we make up the full complement of the human race. One race made up of diverse peoples. To our Creator we are worth more than the stars that shine in the universe. Why can't we see it that way too?