Celebrating Diversity and Unity
This week was our annual International Sunday when we celebrate diversity and unity through song, poems, prayers, and a mix of languages and traditional attire and food.
Pastor Osien gave us an example of a bicycle, which is a means of transport but it carries many diverse parts and without those different parts the bike will not move. Every part must be together for it to work and in the same way, we must all work together in order for us to be effective as a church.
1 Corinthians 12:4 teach us on Unity and Diversity. God created all people and He made them differently for reasons and purposes we may not understand. Regardless of how we may perceive others to be, they are still God’s creation and it is God’s will that we accept and respect them. “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.” What’s critical here is that the unity is in the Spirit even though the gifts themselves are diverse. “There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.” 1 Corinthians 14:10 also reads “There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance.” All of them are important.
Diversity requires a lot of sacrifice for you to enjoy the other person. This is what you have to learn, especially if you have travelled to another nation where you will not find another person speaking your language.
Diversity simply means representation and inclusion. It’s a concept that encompasses acceptance and respect for it to work. So what is acceptance? Acceptance is a process or fact of being received as adequate. You are adequate as you are! You do not need to change to be like someone else. Other people need to accept you as you are. You must be welcomed and embraced, to interact and to fit with other people just as you are.
Let us look at respect! Respect is a feeling of deep admiration for someone elicited by their abilities and qualities. In respecting someone you must esteem, regard, honour, and recognise them. When you recognise someone you give that person freedom and allow them to be themselves. You acknowledge their existence!
Diversity means understanding that each individual is unique. If you fail to understand this, then you will fail to achieve unity in your diversity. We are all unique and this is a result of having different backgrounds.
Diversity includes race, language, gender, height, age, appearances and many more. These are the primary aspects of diversity. You cannot change because God chose and willed you to be like that. You cannot negotiate for these changes. If you use these things to put someone down you are hurting them with something that they cannot change. You can change your social status, which falls under secondary diversity but the primary aspects cannot be changed because they were given by God. Our part is to embrace, to respect and to work with one another with understanding.
When we begin to equate substance to abilities we also hurt one another. Some of the things we embrace will go away but Jesus stands forever. When we begin to understand our individual uniqueness, we must then learn to explore these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. That way, we will consolidate unity. A church should be a safe environment to explore these differences without judging or laughing at one another. If we learn to explore these differences we will increase and be successful in unifying ourselves together. We must continue to endeavour to understand one another and work together beyond simple tolerances to deeper aspects of embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual, because it is the same God and the same Spirit who made you and me.
All of us are beautiful and fearfully and wonderfully made!
View Previous Articles
15 September 2014 – The Battle Is Not Yours Its God’s Own
17 August 2014 – Do Not Fight Other Peoples Battles
27 July 2014 – Say No To Yokes
13 July 2014 – With God Nothing Is Impossible
29 June 2014 – Praying Your Future Into Reality
22 June 2014 – Lessons On Prayer From Elijah
15 June 2014 – Fathers Arise
8 June 2014 – Pentecost
25 May 2014 – Be Prepared
18 May 2014 – The Church is a Place of Prayer
11 May 2014 – Values and Standards
27 April 2014 – It’s Time to Dig
20 April 2014 – Easter Sunday: The Facts About Resurrection
13 April 2014 – Our God is Holy
30 March 2014 – Mothers Day: The Great Mothers of the Bible
27 March 2014 – Beware Of Rebellion
18 March 2014 – God That Helps His People
12 March 2014 – The 5 Key Concepts of the Bible
13 February 2014 – The Power of Discipleship
19 January 2014 – Benefits of Fasting
12 January 2014 – Do Christians Have to Fast?
24 November 2013 – What Kind of A Christian Are You?
17 November 2013 – How Much Do We Trust God
10 November 2013 – Remembrance Sunday
03 November 2013 – Unity and Diversity One Body