The Beauty of Diversity
Have you ever thought about how weird it would be if our body was made of one body
part? Think about it. Instead of having a head, a core, arms, legs, eyes etc., what if we
were just a nose or just one big foot?
Or what if a foot tried to do the job of an eye, and the hand of an ear simply because it
really wanted to be that other body part? It wouldn’t work right?! As hard as a foot tried, it would never be able to do the job of an eye or at least not do it well.
Sounds funny, but if we think about it, we sometimes think like that in our spiritual walk and in other areas of our lives. We can get caught up in comparison, wanting to be like someone else. We want other women’s giftings, personality, hair etc. And we live in a world that encourages those thoughts. We hear things like “Conform to those around you.” “Become better, smarter, faster, thinner…!” “Change yourself to become
WHOEVER you want to be!” “Be an INDIVIDUAL so that you can be better than
BUT, that is the opposite of what the Bible teaches. In Romans 12, it speaks differently.
Paul urgently requests the followers of Jesus to “present your bodies as a living
sacrifices (vs. 1). Later in 1 Peter 1:16 we are called to “Be holy as God is holy.”
Striving to be holy is an act of worship. In Romans 12:2, Paul then says, “don’t conform to this world, but be transformed (drastically changed) by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect”.
Unlike what the world tells us, we are called to NOT copy the ways and behaviors of this world. We should allow God to drastically change us into a new person by changing the way we think. This is done by knowing Him personally, understanding the gospel,
allowing the Spirit’s power to move in us and having an eternal perspective which can
only come from the Bible. This allows us to then know God’s will for our lives, which I
believe is to constantly pursue holiness as we strive to love God with our whole being
and love others as ourselves (Mark 12:30-31).
And again, our world and our sinful self often wants different. We want to “love
ourselves” and work to be the best at everything. I’m not saying it’s bad to work hard
and do your best (the Bible has verses opposing laziness), but we must constantly
check our motivation. Are we doing it for worldly gain or for the Lord’s glory and the
growth of the body of Christ? Paul gives a warning in Romans 12:3, “Don’t think of
yourselves more highly that you ought. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves,
measured by the faith God has given you.”
Then, as we compare Romans 12:4-6 to the worldly self-centered individualistic
worldview, God’s word says, “we are one body belonging to each other, but we all have
different gifts/functions, to do certain things well.” God created us all in His image
(Genesis 1:27) and we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139). We are created to be one united body, all functioning together, and using the gifts He has given each of
us personally (Romans 12:6-8 and Ephesian 4:11).
And what is the purpose of receiving our individual gifts? Ephesians 4:12 says that God
gave us these gifts “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, FOR THE BUILDING
UP OF THE BODY OF CHRIST, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the
knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the
fullness of Christ.”
That is the beauty of diversity! God made each of us uniquely, with different giftings so
that we would build each other up and encourage one another to become more like
Jesus, the Head of the Body of Christ. By doing that, we are worshiping God, bringing
glory to Him, which is ultimately why we were created!
Therefore, let us not strive to be like another ‘body part’ as the world encourages, but let us strive to be individuals who grow in our understanding of the unique giftings of which we’ve received from the Lord, in order that we can use them to the fullest potential to love, obey and serve the Lord and build each other up as we encourage one another to stand firm in Him. And let us do it “in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3).