"Unity and Diversity"
Think of one thing you really enjoy doing. How about something you’re not so good at doing. If you were to share those answers with your family or team or even just a group of friends, it wouldn’t take long to recognize that your answers aren’t the same as everyone else’s. No matter who you’re with, there’s diversity—a wide variety of strengths and weaknesses.
Now imagine asking people in cross-cultural settings those same questions. No doubt, you’ll find a staggering variety of responses. God has created each of us uniquely. There are no duplicates. There is no uniform, but there can be unity.
Paul wrote these words to believers in first-century Corinth. There was lots of diversity (to put it mildly) in that city. It was a port city so there were people from different countries, cultures, backgrounds and religious traditions. It was a melting pot. It would have been very easy to only see the things that could have divided the Church. Certainly, Paul acknowledged those differences – some were slaves, others were free; many of the believers were Jews while a growing number were Gentile; there were Americans, Africans and Asians (Okay, that last one wasn’t from Paul. I threw that one in for free!). The point is, Paul recognizes their uniqueness but focuses on their unity—acting as one body, being of one Spirit, and following one Jesus!
In the face of wild diversity, Paul focuses on the one thing, or rather, the One Person who brings unity: Jesus. We’d be wise to do the same, to focus on the One who unifies us with the rest of the Body of Christ. Whether it’s with your family, your team, or the national brothers and sisters you’re interacting with, you’ll be tempted to dwell on the differences. Instead, zero in on the unity by fixing your eyes on the One who unites you.
Each time you notice one of the differences between you and the people around you, be intentional about pointing attention to the One who unifies you.