Choose the Different People Right in Front of You
More often than not we don’t embrace diversity. But if we take an honest look at those around us, we’re surrounded by it. In Origins, one of the reasons we talk about being interested in the people right in front of us is because the people we’re actually around each day are not necessarily the same people we choose to live life with and interact with. We have to remember that God has us where we are at, with the people we’re near for a reason. And it’s especially important to remember this when the people right in front of us are different.
One of the more interesting aspects about the stories of Jesus found in the gospels is the diverse group of characters Jesus interacts with. We see Jesus interacting with people from all walks of life. He interacts with both the rich and the poor. He interacts with powerful religious and political figures, as well as those who’ve been scorned and outcast by society. He interacts with people of different races, and people with different political and religious views – even among his closest disciples. Jesus was comfortable with and welcomed diversity in his life. He loved people who were different than him.
For the most part, we tend to choose to spend our time with and develop friendships with like-minded people. We often feel most comfortable with familiar people: those who have similar political or religious views; those who speak the same language and share a common culture; those who have similar passions and goals; those with similar or compatible personalities; those who hail from the same hometown and even those who like the same sports teams.
If we aren’t careful – if we aren’t intentional about choosing diversity – we can completely miss the beautifully different people right in front of us by gravitating toward people who are just like us. We can miss out on incredible opportunities to learn and to experience, to stretch and to grow.
This week, practice of rhythm of diversity – choose to interact with the different people right in front of you.
Before starting each day this week, pray and ask God to help you see, acknowledge and interact with people who are different than you. Encourage people to share more when a topic that you’re unfamiliar with comes up. Welcome and pursue perspectives that are different than your own. Try starting a conversation with someone you rarely or have never talked to at work or in your neighborhood.
Be open to the ways God wants to teach you and mold you through the diverse voices he’s placed in your life.