Our culture overuses the word diversity. It is forced upon us in the workplace, in our conversations, and everywhere we do life. I bet you just focused on the wrong part of that statement. Diversity isn’t a bad thing. Having it forced upon us will never work though.
External pressure on anything that requires a heart change will always fail. Oh it might work for a short while, but then we always drift back to our default way of thinking.
The problem is our hearts. We will never embrace people who are different from we are when we have hearts of stone. Left to our own, our hearts will always treat others selfishly. We will always gravitate to those who think and act like we do. We will always shun, or do worse, those different from we are. Even man-made religion divides people into monogamous groups where everyone looks the same, has a similar economic status, and even thinks the same.
Only One Person truly embraces those who are different from Him. God. No one is like Him. Yes, He created us in His image, but we are still very different from He is. He transcends us. While we struggle with our differences, He embraces them. He left His perfect place and entered our craziness.
The cool thing is this: God promises to replace our hearts of stone with a heart of flesh. He will give us a new heart and deposit His spirit in us. He cleanses us from our selfish ways and causes us to walk in His ways.
When this happens we no longer seek out diversity as an obligation to fulfill some cultural norm. Rather we instinctively embrace others who are different from we are. We are compelled to step out of our cultural context and into those of others. We no longer are driven by what a person’s skin color is, how much they make, what part of the world they come from, what god they serve, or any other identifier. External pressure to include others morphs into an internal motivation caused by His heart within us.
Our thoughts about other people change from seeing them as unintelligent, lazy, mean, etc. to people with promise, family, dreams, and so on.
Why? Because that is who God is.
Are you willing to do some self-analysis?
- Look at who you spend your time with and do life with. Do they all look, think, and believe like you do?
- Do you feel obligated to embrace diversity?
- Do you feel uneasy, even afraid, around people who are different from you?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, I encourage you to spend time with God and ask him to give you a heart of flesh.
For those of my friends who think I am advocating forfeiting what we believe as truth for the sake of embracing diversity, I am not. We don’t have to. Truth will aways be truth regardless of how we treat others. However, a heart of flesh doesn’t judge and condemn those who are different.
If we are going to rescue the fatherless, comfort the broken, and share the gospel with all people, we need to lean close to those who are different from we are.
The only way that will happen is if God truly changes our heart.
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