John 13:34 (NIV), “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
As we venture through life, we will cross paths with many different people. The thing that makes people so interesting is the fact that they are different. If God wanted one version of a human being that is what He would have created. However, thankfully for all of us, He chose not to do that. Being the artist that He is, He put His creativity to work and crafted many different colors, features, personalities, and He even topped it all off by giving us each a unique purpose. He is truly the God of diversity!
Sometimes when we meet a person there may be something about that person that makes it hard for us to accept them. But really if we have a chance to get to know someone a little better, especially when that someone is different from us, we would be doing ourselves a huge injustice not to take advantage of that opportunity. Why? Because every person that is breathing air has a story to tell, regardless of their race, nationality or gender.
When we take the time to listen to another person’s story, we will quickly find out that we all have had our share of ups and downs. We’ve all experienced victories and defeats, gains and losses. We will also discover that although there may be many differences between people, there are also just as many, if not more, similarities. We’re all human and we share the same basic needs, especially our need to be loved. I’m not suggesting that people ignore their morals or values to tolerate any ole thing, because standards are a necessity. Having standards will ensure that we are being true to ourselves, and even more, true to the God we serve. However, I do believe that when we take the time to at least listen, and show compassion to one another, we may find a true treasure in getting to know that person better. When we listen to the story of another, we can better understand why they are who they are. We also may gain insight from them about life in general, and learn something new that can be a blessing to us.
It never hurts to deviate a little from what we deem to be comfortable and familiar. When we are willing to “step outside of the box”, we may discover that we are in the place where we were truly meant to be. When we’re out of our comfort zone, God can use us more fully as we learn to rely on Him to take us to new levels in our lives.
When I look into the face of another person, especially a person who is different from me, I pray I will always remember that they, just like me, have a story to tell. When and if they choose to speak, I will do my best to listen. Are you listening?
Galatians 3:26 (NIV),”So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God though faith,”