Weekly Devotional: Embracing Our Differences

Three friends smiling and embracing their differences at school

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:11, NIV

When God designed the world, He created so much variety that can be seen throughout nature. He also gave human beings difference from each other. From our physical attributes and personality traits to our interests and talents, each person has unique characteristics that make them different.

At times our differences may prevent us from seeing each other how God sees us, as His creation worthy of love. It is important in any situation that we turn to God’s Word. It is full of truth and wisdom on how to embrace unity and Christ and value each other. One example of this is in 1 Thessalonians where we are told to encourage each other and build each other up.

Let’s dive deeper into what God tells us about our differences.

One in Christ Jesus

“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.” — Philippians 2:1-2, NIV

As Christians, we have dissimilarities, but we also have a commonality, and that is Christ. No matter our difference in viewpoints, backgrounds or personalities, we are called to being likeminded and loving each other through our unity in Christ. This does not mean we should only love our family and friends, but all those around us.

Galatians 3:28 says, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” As Christians, we all belong to Christ and are united through that connection.

Known by God

“And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” — Matthew 10:30, NIV

Although we are one Church in Christ, we still each have a unique identity and gifts that we have been given. We were created with thought and purposes to fulfill. God knows us completely, even down to the hairs on our head. Traits we may consider negative, God can use for good. Through them, we have an opportunity to connect with others and share our story.

Ephesians 2:10 says “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” God has created us differently, but each of us has a purpose. Each of our skill sets, talents, backgrounds and appearances all help to equip us for what God has planned in our lives. We can embrace and celebrate our differences and the beauty in them because they are from God.

Living as God’s Children

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.” — 1 John 3:1-3, NIV

Through Christ, we can live as children of God. His love for each of us is so great that we are welcomed into his family when we accept Christ into our lives. When we are struggling to deal with distinctive parts of ourselves or another person, we can remember — we are all children of God. We are brothers and sisters in Christ and that is more than anything that could divide us.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.