Let’s talk about diversity and inclusion. Many organizations are doing their best to embrace these concepts and help people feel welcomed and appreciated. We all agree this is a good thing. But how should we feel about these things when they go against our core values and beliefs? I mean, we are not all going to always agree on everything, right? This is where it can become complicated as we try to figure out how to feel about and deal with these things.
“For the time will come when men will not tolerate sound doctrine, but with itching ears they will gather around themselves teachers to suit their own desires. So they will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” – 2 Timothy 4:3-5
It is very easy to see that the world view is drastically different from the Word of God. And if you pay close attention, you will see the increased lack of tolerance for Christian beliefs in society. This is truly alarming, especially since the Word of God contains the answer to dealing with this exact issue. So what is the answer?
Fundamentally it all comes down to seeking the Lord and following Jesus. If we look at the life of Jesus and handle situations how he would handle them, we can endure every disagreement, every trial, every hardship, every mental challenge, every storm. We can bridge every divide, and unleash the ultimate power of God which is the Holy Spirit that lives in us.
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The first things Jesus tells us is to love our neighbor as ourselves. This love is not contingent upon anything. Jesus loved everyone whether they agreed with him or not. Even more, he forgave those who hung him on the cross to die. He loved them through the difference of opinion, through the pain, through it all.
That doesn’t mean that we should not correct and rebuke things that are contrary to the Word of God. But the Bible tells us to do it out of gentleness and love. Too often people are turned away from the love of God because of how we treat each other and because we do not practice the love of God when we correct and rebuke.
The immediate argument to this is that Jesus often raised his voice and even turned over the tables. While that is true, Jesus always focused his aggression at the evil, not at the people. He stood against sin, while still loving the sinner. That is how he was able to stand for what is right, and not fall outside of God’s Will. He was able to separate the sin from the sinner.
When we are able to see people as children of God, and see them through the eyes of the Spirit, we can’t help but love. This is how Jesus was able to forgive the world in spite of the way the world treated him. That doesn’t mean that we are going to feel good about everything that is going on against the Will of God. That doesn’t mean that minds are not going to be disturbed, and that our hearts are not going to hurt when we see so much sin and so many lost. Actually when we know the Will of God, that can be expected. We know this is true because Jesus experienced this as well, to the point of causing him to weep.
So how can we as Christians look at diversity and inclusion? We can do it just like Jesus did. He is the perfect model for how to deal with so much thought that fundamentally goes against God’s Word. We can continue to love people knowing they are children of God, while standing on the Word of God which holds truth and life. And we can guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Let us pray today for God to strengthen us to stand firm in the truth of the Word of God, and not let the enemy turn our hearts bitter, disturb our peace, and cause us to fall outside of God’s Will. Let us pray for those who don’t know God or who struggle to walk in his ways. Let us pray that God help us stand against the sin, while not condemning the person. Let us pray that others will come to know the unconditional love of God through our love and kindness and gentleness. Let us pray that God will help us to walk in the ways of Jesus, for there is power in His name.
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your Word today. Thank you for helping us to be the calm in the storm that everyone turns to. Thank you for guiding our every step, and fighting our every battle. Help us to walk in your Presence and that your Holy Spirit flows in and through us like a raging river. Help us to be so filled with your Spirit that everyone who gets near me gets impacted by your goodness just like Peter who’s shadow healed others. We want more of you Lord in our lives, every day, in every way. Let everything go smoothly today Lord. Remove every obstacle. Let every person feel moved to take action and make things happen to advance your kingdom. We give you all the honor and glory and praise, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
Today’s full reading: Amos 1-3; Psalm 80; 2 Timothy 4
Scripture References From Today’s Reflection:
- “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” – Mark 12:30
- “The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:31
- “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” – 2 Timothy 3:16
- “Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.” – Matthew 21:12
“Jesus wept.” – John 11:35
- “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it.” – Luke 19:41
- “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” – 1 Corinthians 16:13
- “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6
- “Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth.” – John 17:17
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