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  • November 2011
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Difference Or Acceptance

I have a very hard time listening to all the talk about how people are accepting the diversity of everyone around them. “You know, because we are such a diverse group of people.” Because it is not the word that they truly mean.  If we are all in the love of God and have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, then what is there that we have differences in?

Ok, some people will go for the given.  We have different color skin.  The color of your skin doesn’t make us have a difference with each other, unless you allow it to.  I was raised quite differently then my hubby and I have raised our kids.  I was told to put up with people of different shading until they did something that my parents didn’t agree with.  Then I got to listen to the words fly.  My husband and I never really gave much thought into talking to our kids about people with different color skin.  But I have to say, there was one time that I had taken my oldest son swimming and he stopped what he was doing to watch another little boy in the pool.  He looked at me and said,”That boy over there is swimming really good.”  There were a couple of boys in the area that he was pointing at so I asked him which one.  He said,” The brown color boy.”  It was the only word he could come up with to describe him.  You see, they all had brown hair, and in the water, they all looked about the same height.  My son didn’t see him as different, just a good swimmer.  To my knowledge that has been the only time with any of our kids, that they have ever had to point out that someone who they either saw or know is of a different skin tone.

Some people will say it has to do with our religion.  After much research, I found that no one wants to give an exact number of Christians in the world.  It is very hard to count when you have people converting to this and that religion and there are people in very remote parts of the world where getting a “head count” would be extremely hard.  But most of the researchers have said that around 1/3 of the world’s population is Christian. Given the fact that there is roughly 21 different “major” religions out there, some might say that 1/3 is good, while others would tend to disagree.  In the U.S alone, there is around 58.3% to 82.3% that are Christians.Christians are to stand up for their faith.  We are not to make any excuses for others.  That means we are not to accept it when people say, “Well that’s ok for you, but it’s just not for me.”  So I don’t see where we are to embrace the difference.

We could look at those who outwardly show their expression of who they are.  Some wear different clothes, piercings, tattoos, Well, ever since I can remember, I have seen different people wear different kinds of clothes.  I doesn’t matter if they were for work, home, church, etc., they were usually picked out because of the mood someone was in.  I know that if I wear a certain outfit for the day it is because I have stood in front of my closet and whether consciously or not have said,”What do I feel like wearing today?”  Whether I like what someone is wearing or not has nothing to do with me accepting that person.  There are clothes that I wear, where I wouldn’t even want people to see me in.  The same can be said with piercings and tattoos.  If someone has a pierced nose or a tat on their arm doesn’t make or break my relationship with them, whether I happen to like the piercing or tat is a matter of taste and style. Do you like mine?  

Then you have lifestyle.  The way a person lives out their life.  This is where people get all riled up.  People want to be able to live their lives any way they want.  Which is completely different then what the Bible has to say.  There are several books in the Bible, well…… all the books in the Bible, tell us exactly how we are to live. And when it goes against the way a person may be living and others stand against that way, then we have people shouting the real word that they want.  Tolerance.  Tolerate:  To not interfere with; allow; permit.  To recognize and respect (others beliefs, practices, etc.) without sharing them. Philippians 2:21  For they all seek their own, not the things of Jesus Christ. Anytime you disagree with their lifestyle you will then be called a bigot, hater, fanatic, etc.  Jesus, was and is none of these. Christians have to show God living in their lives.  God Himself does not start problems or trouble with those who have chosen to live without Him.  Christians shouldn’t either.  We are told in Romans 15:5,6  Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the god and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. There is not tolerance in that scripture.  You are to think and speak like Jesus would.  With patience and comfort.   I have been able to find the word diverse either used or referred to 17 times in the Bible. The one that stuck out to me the most was Galatians 3:28  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all in Christ Jesus.   The only real difference between people is whether or not we are with God.  Jesus did not tolerate those against him.  He spoke and gave them a choice…….He spoke again, and again. Each time giving them the choice. He is still speaking.  This time though, it is not only through His written word but through you.  Your diversity is to be used as it is needed to get the message through to the diverse world.  What one might say to one person may not be the way to reach him.  However, someone else just might have the right touch or “gift”.


3 Responses

  1. Very nice, well thougth out post. Thanks for the blessing! One thing I would add: Regardless of someone’s lifestyle, we need to be able to approach them in love. If we only knew how much God loves each of His beloved, we would break all barriers to reach that person. God alone is the judge; but we can judge what is and isn’t Biblical. The problem here is that sometimes people begin to seek God waaaay before they give up a life of sin (that which keeps us from God). The last thing a person just getting started needs is someone to judge them and deem them unworthy because of their lifestyle. We spread love…not doctrine. The doctrine will be sought out if a person continues to move closer to God (no matter how slow the crawl). We should be tolerant as it pertains to each individual person and if that person begins to see that we truly love them regardless of their sin…they will consider giving it up! If we judge or tell the sinner that their life is sinful, we are doing God’s job for Him (not to mention, most folk in bondage to sin know very well that their life is not “right”). There is a time and a place for a person to confront thier lifestyle…but not at our timing! Sometimes people, no matter how painful, need to completely self-destruct to find the hand that reaches down to them…we just don’t know God’s timing. As usual, Tonya, your posts are stimulating and thought provoking. God bless you!

  2. Thank you so much for stopping by. I do agree that with everything, it should be done with love. That is where the patience and comfort come in. I should have maybe elaborated on that a little more. I would however have to disagree that most folk in bondage to sin know very well that their life is not “right”. When we look around at problems, people tend to point their fingers to others, not realizing that it is what they are doing or not doing that is the source. Self examination is not something I am not seeing in people as to how it pertains to God, only to themselves. Nor am I trying to promote that people take things into their own hands by doing God’s job, but to be open to being vessels of His work. To lead others by the example of His love. For it should be His love living through us that makes people draw near to us. This is where and when the leading them to Him comes in. Our “mission” is to spread the gospel. Not to adjust to those outside of it.

  3. You have elouquently nailed my feelings on our society today. Too many tolerate what is wrong, and cannot tolerate what is right. I won’t get on my soap box to add anything other than, I am glad I am not the only one that feels that way. Great post!

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