Scripture: Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 1 Corinthians 12:4-6
Theological Thought: One of the core themes of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians is unity in the midst of diversity. It is a natural human tendency to find differences and similarities between ourselves, and it is a natural tendency to gather with those we deem most like ourselves. However, the wholeness which God demands of us (cf Mt 5:8) is only possible through unity in diversity with others.
Reflection: I tend to think that people tend to fall into two categories when it comes to diversity: we either demand of others to act like us, or we demand of ourselves to act like others. I have been on both sides of the coin, insisting that I know best and everyone should do it the way I do, or else hating myself for being so different and wondering how I can do things “right.” The problem, as Paul so eloquently puts it, is that it doesn’t matter what or how you serve God, everyone is still serving God. So why does it matter? Why do I have to be like others or else exert my will over others to be like me? It is ultimately because I don’t have a clear understanding of who I am, and to what the Lord has called me. In that uncertainty I seek validation from others. Maybe that validation comes from people who agree with me, or maybe it comes from people who approve of my behavior, but the end result is the same, I am allowing others to determine who I am and what I do, rather than seeking out Jesus and trying to discover who he made me to be.
Prayer: Lord, open my eyes and my heart to the person you created me to be. Grant me boldness to pursue and live the life you have called me to, and release me from the fear that I will be alone and rejected when I do.
Practice: Media Fast – I find that the media whether facebook, twitter, cnn, or sports illustrated do more to demand that I fit a particular mold than any other factor in my life. Let’s turn off all media, everything from magazines to Facebook, from TV to music and bask in what God has to say instead.