For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.
My family is a huge lover of the Olympic Games. Summer or winter festivities, it doesn’t matter, we are on board for every event & every story that airs during those weeks of broadcast.
When I watch the walk of the nations & all of the diversity, the stories of overcoming & hope, I always become teary eyed because what I see for a short period of time is a large group of people, dropping everything around them & unifying for one common goal: a reward for their perseverance.
Throughout those games I reflected on the nations under God & what we call the church. What would happen if we all dropped not our core beliefs, but dropped the idea that what makes us unfamiliar should divide us? How different would the kingdom look here on earth if we all rallied together to promote THE reward? Jesus.
Maya Angelou is likely my favorite poet. This is because her words are real & they weave a story that I feel I can reach out & grab. Nothing in her words feel over my head or un-relatable. Her poem, Human Family aired numerous times during the commercial breaks for the Olympic Games. The intent, like mine, was to remind every eye & ear listening or seeing that we are more alike than we are unalike. For me, I am reminded through this poem just like God’s word, that we are created differently, but it’s for the same purpose & the same end result.
In a world that spins so quickly, I think it’s hard to pause & remember that we are of the same Spirit, the same family. Once we see past the uniqueness of our contrasts, then we can truly view the similarity of our hearts & love can be shared with all of our brothers & sisters.
I will admit, one of the biggest issues I’ve encountered in using my Spiritual gifts is the poison of self talk that comes through comparison. Being a good cheerleader for others was never a strong point for me. I wasn’t very cheered-for growing up & it’s not something that has been given to me easily or naturally. I’ve spent this season of my life working very hard to become a unifier, encourager or even just a better friend.
When comparison strikes look very quickly for his friends to be right behind: insecurity, negativity, isolation, criticism of self/others, self pity, anger, judgment. Through God’s goodness I’ve learned to take those thoughts captive & bend them to the obedience of Christ. The truth isn’t in my head, it’s not in my deeds & not in our division, it’s in Jesus Christ & the Word that God breathed out for us to follow.
I want to leave with you a few reminders that have strengthened & help me a lot lately. Just because another person does things a little different than me, it’s because they are different & that’s ok. I often feel like a square peg forcing myself into a round hole, & that’s not ok. If I were designed to fit in that space I would be in that position instead of the one designed wonderfully for me.
We can’t be a world of well rounded puzzle pieces. We all have to be a little jagged & uneven so we can fit together tighter & more perfectly, to develop into the masterpiece picture that God has always been creating.
If self pity starts to dilute the good I am doing He reminds me to trust the process. This life is a marathon not a sprint & my job is to run the race with endurance. For every mile of life I cross, He stands there with a cup of THE living water & He shows me that I will make it to the finish line if I allow Him to do the refreshing; to be the trainer. What He has created in me, in you, in our families, our gifts, they will all be seen to completion.
May God touch you with the reminder today that you are just as chosen for a great work as anyone else. May He lend His blessing over you & connect your life pieces to a portrait of people that are waiting to love you & be loved in return. We all laugh, cry, & hope in the same language & on the inside you cannot tell us apart. Let’s allow our external qualities to mirror that also.
Insight & Inspiration:
1 Samuel 16:7b, NIV, “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
Hebrews 12:1-2, NLT, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.
Do you feel there are areas of your life, maybe even subconsciously, where you need to dig up a root of divisiveness? Have you limited your own kingdom power through comparison or isolation? Does self talk seem to scream louder in your ear than the whispers of God’s truths?
You have the potential to be the champion for grace & mercy that you long to pour out for others. In the interim always know, you have advocates in faith praying you into position.