Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. – Luke 11:17
These past few months, I’ve spent a lot of time praying to the Father about getting along with others. Between individuals and countries, there’s a lot of animosity swirling around, pulling many of us into an emotional tornado. Sometimes, the damage post-storm can seem irreparable.
I’m seeking ways to restore unity wherever I can, both in the community and on my knees, fully aware I’m only one person. Still, I’m one, and can find solutions that will impact my world.
My closest friend is different from me. I’m sturdy, she’s slim. She wears nice outfits and lives in a well-to-do neighborhood. I live on the edge of town, near a river, and my favorite clothes are sweats. Even our politics differ.
The same holds true for the women in a Bible study I lead. Every week our group sits in a circle, our differing ages, incomes, and nationalities resembling a bouquet of mixed souls, sending a sweet fragrance up to Jesus. No weeds of divisiveness spoil our time together.
As I share troubles and triumphs with my BFF or delve deeper into the Word with the ladies in the study, I’m touched by our closeness, the sense of trust we extend to one another. This intimacy and love exists despite our contrasting lifestyles and political views — and all our other dissimilarities. How can friendships flourish amid such diversity?
For me, the answer lies in faith. Jesus not only tolerated people unlike Himself, He delighted in their contrasts, probably because He created each of us to be unique. He wasted no time in condemnation and name-calling. Instead He called us by name, proving to each of us our value in His eyes.
I want to be like the Lord, welcoming and accepting. Rejoicing in differences but focusing on the likenesses I share with others. Because if you were to see my friend and I talking or shopping or simply laughing over nothing, you wouldn’t notice that I’m larger or my clothes aren’t as nice. You wouldn’t hear biting comments or condescension.
You’d simply catch a glimpse of the beauty living inside us, through the Holy Spirit. You’d see love in action.
And you’d witness the powerful blessing of peace.
Very true, Heidi. Instead of condemning differences, we should rejoice in them, and learn from each other, while extending love and grace to all.
Thanks for sharing!
Susan, you and I think alike in so many ways! I’m glad about all our similarities — and our differences.
Your words always make me think.
Thank you, Jo. I’m glad they do.
Amen. Lovely flowers. Lovely writing.
Thank you, Kathleen.
Amen, sister! Fabulous piece.
Thank you, friend!
Thanks, Sylvia. I’m so thankful for your friendship.
And yet, unlike many today, He always left people with one comment. “Go and sin no more.” Perhaps if we stayed true to His teachings, we would always have diversity, but always only one way of reaching unity. Going and sinning no more.
Yes, sin is a huge factor in all our division. Thank you for your thoughtful response.
Lovely thoughts. Heidi. Thank you for sharing your heart. You do a wonderful job of loving and supporting us.
Thank you, Marilyn. As do you!
“It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” Attributed to John Wesley among others.
Absolutely! As Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8: Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. He doesn’t suggest focusing on the negative. I love your concise quote choice!