If we remove all the labels–age, race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, skin color, fat, skinny, short, and tall–and look at what lies beneath…then we will discover that we are all the same…Y’all!
We all breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide.
We all long to be loved and accepted.
We all get angry…sick…and feel pain.
We all bleed when cut.
Labels are great for cans (they help us discern whether we’re eating corn or peas) but when they are stuck onto a person the whole world begins to loose sight of the person underneath. It’s like not seeing the forest for the trees…only this time it’s the label that makes it impossible to see the individual.
The news never gets better…day after day I see individuals angry at someone splashed across my television screen. It seems to always stem from one group or one individual whose against the other…how their different.
Why do we spend so much energy pointing out one another’s differences when it only leads to division?
Wouldn’t our time be better spent determining how we are the same?
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 how we as the body of Christ are to be united in our diversity.
“And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to the part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.” (1 Corinthians 12:23-27). Last week I was driving home from a conference I attended in South Carolina, USA (I borrowed the Y’all from my Southern friends). As I was serpentining back and forth through the Smokey Mountains I was stuck by the beauty of God’s creation. Mountains mushroomed up to the heavens and rock layers of granite and shale clung to their sides. White feathery clouds swirled in the blue expanse and trees bloomed in crimson, bronze, and gold. God had crafted all this magnificence–all breathe taking–and yet, all unique in it’s own loveliness.
We are crafted differently, an yet we are all uniquely lovely. Isn’t it in our diversity that true beauty shines through? Without the flair of color that each one of us brings to the canvas our picture wouldn’t be nearly as glorious.
Let’s not allow our differences to separate us, rather let our diversity color the world in radiance.
We are here to do life together, to use our gifts and talents to build each other up, and to glorify God–allowing His light to shine through us. “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Isn’t it time we give the world a new, new’s story? Isn’t it time we realize we are all the same…Y’all?