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Unity in Diversity | The Gift of Diversity

Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,  and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’

Genesis 1:26–28

And afterwards,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days.

Joel 2:28–29

 


 

Like many of us, I have been utterly amazed by the images coming from the James Webb Space Telescope.

The diversity of the stars reveals parts of the universe that, as some have commented, we did not know ever existed. Quoted in The Guardian, Dr Amber Straughn, a NASA Astrophysicist, said, ‘We see structures that we don’t even know what they are.’ Upon seeing them, I thought, ‘our God created all this diversity!’

Indeed, God must love diversity. Genesis 1 is but a small window on to God’s diverse creation, reaching its crescendo with the making of Adam and Eve. Since Eden, humans have multiplied to billions on earth, and we are all different. We are individually different – for instance, we have unique fingerprints. We are also socially and culturally different, with some varying physical characteristics such as skin colour. Yet, there is no human who is not created by God.

Human diversity, whether individual or societal, is God’s design. We are created for diversity. We continue as a race by mixing the chromosomes in each generation and, thus, both taking advantage of and enhancing God’s gift of diversity. Unity in diversity is what God desires of us.

God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 12 is for the blessing of all peoples in the world, not just one ethnicity or a select few. The promise of the Father – the outpouring of the Spirit – is to all humans of the world. The Pentecost event in Acts 2 makes clear that God keeps promises – the Spirit will be poured upon all flesh and draw us towards unity in diversity. The fellowship of the Spirit is open to all humans in our varieties.

Diversity keeps the universe moving. Diversity is, indeed, the universe’s survival strategy. It is how species adapt to changing environments. Richard Pascale suggests, in Surfing the Edge of Chaos, that a lack of diversity inhibits our ability to adapt to changing environments and, therefore, impedes our development and survival.

Whether it is among the species, or in our communities and churches, lack of diversity deprives us of the revitalising gifts that God has given us through our neighbours who are different from us. In doing so, it prevents us from enjoying the life God has for us to the full. In the places you go in your daily life, how could you share your gifts with others while receiving those that they bring to you? How could you make your world more diverse?

___

Harvey Kwiyani
CEO, Global Connections

Join the conversation in the comments below.

 

Image courtesy of NASA

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Comments

  1. This article is so true and the point of individual fingerprints brings it home together with the Webb pics.
    My two grand sons are so different, I marvel at God’s work in society. I’m just glad he is sovereign and has control of His grand plan. This is how I keep everything in perspective ,even in a world full of war, disputes,tragedy and hunger.

    By Victor magowan  -  25 Jul 2022
  2. Christian ethics do change a lot though. When I first became a Christian mixed marriages were seen to be evil. Gay relationships of the devil.
    Are we becoming more enlightened or leaving behind truth? Discuss

    By Paul Gray  -  25 Jul 2022
  3. Thank you for this article. Whilst I totally agree with the message you have shared, and fully agree that we are blessed and need to embrace those around us who are ‘different’, I am concerned about your use of the word ‘diversity.’ Very sadly, in today’s culture it is used to embrace every difference which exists and often especially those which are outwith God’s plan. Whilst we absolutely must, as Christians, share God’s love and grace with all of our neighbours, it is equally important to remain firm and clear about God’s plan for humanity as stated in His Word.
    Very sadly, the word ‘diversity’ as with other English words, has had the original meaning highjacked.

    By Diane P  -  25 Jul 2022
    • What word would you prefer, Diane?

      By Christina  -  25 Jul 2022
  4. By God giving us free will, we can even choose a different path than God’s one. This is diverse indeed. Under God all things are possible … and some are noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy. Help us to discern what they are, think about them, and act on them for our God’s glory and our Neighbours blessing.

    By Ridgely Johnson  -  25 Jul 2022
  5. Thanks for this article
    Yes indeed, “Unity in Diversity” is the essence of harmony. Our God has a unique way of seeing things, he sees harmony in Diversity and not uniformity. To promote harmony let us embrace diversity in our working place, family, school…because it shows how different, special and unique we are to each other. It is unfortunate that today people wants to find harmony in uniformity.

    By Leita Ngoy  -  25 Jul 2022
  6. How GOD created us all in different manner bu all of HIS lile is a fundamental that we can explain by mere words and different to test scientifically.

    Similarities and differences do differ from one another and there are no proof that one existed may possibly exist again in future.

    HE is GOD and his ways can’t be researched. It will take only spiritual science (if any) to understand. GOD is the creator, sustainer and enabler of all diversity and unity.

    By Oscar Rodington Nyirenda  -  25 Jul 2022
  7. God evidently delights in diversity, in creating and developing and sustaining a VAST range of differences in every sphere. How can we encourage this? By working to develop and enhance our range and apprehension of inner diversity-especially as we grow older. There is a whole stream of studies continuing in seeking to explain why time seems to go faster as you grow older: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=why+time+seems+to+go+faster+as+you+grow+older%3F&atb=v314-1&ia=web.
    It is vital as a life habit that we encourage innovation and novelty in our being and our doing. This will inspire us to delight in differences and diversity, whilst avoiding spiritual and mental atrophy creeping up on us. Dare to be different can be a useful adage to live by – not just for Daniel, as often rightly commentated upon in Christian teaching 🙂

    By Bill Saunders  -  26 Jul 2022
  8. You ask how one might increase diversity…. How about by genetic modification? Horrors! But when is diversity NOT a good thing?

    By Charles Taylor  -  27 Jul 2022

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