Friday, October 27, 2017

Complexity part 9: another aspect of diversity

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the concept of unity in "diversity." Otherwise known as the body of Christ. How our unique talents and skills can come together for the common good. Yet, there is another side of it that gets addressed even less often than the main point of the body of Christ concept. Ignoring it may lie at the root of many a failure in building the church Jesus intended.

On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. -1 Corinthians 12:22-26

Our God given diversity's primarily value may have to do with talent; and there should be equality between common and uncommon gifts. However, with those different abilities also come very different needs. While that may sound like a rather simple point, but our neglect of it has led to some complex problems in the church.

Differing gifts mean different strengths. This also means different weaknesses as well. But, if we do not recognize that, then we assume what is easy for us, should be easy for everyone. This may lead us to look down upon people who lack the same strengths, instead of sharing our strength with the church. We should absolutely share the strengths we are gifted with since we all have a weakness in a different area as well, a shortcoming that we need to receive help for from our church family.

In an ideal church everyone would share their gifts without keeping score. Yet be humble enough to accept the help of others graciously. Unfortunately, we often fall short in being that selfless. We can be rather greedy with our strength and gifts. So we tend to keep it all to ourselves. Or be so greedy with the help we desire that we drain the people helping us, which makes the drained individual less able to help the rest of the church. On the other side of it, many are too proud to receive assistance. While they often think of this as a virtue, they often do not mature as disciples in certain needed areas. Which ultimately means they have less to offer the church, which affects everyone. The dynamics of church community, if we don't follow them as intended we make our spiritual journey that much harder. This leads to our churches becoming that much weaker.


Have you ever revealed something or told a story to someone, and they just didn't believe you? They can't accept that you would behave or do as you described for the simple fact that is not how they would respond to the same situation. This is an example of what I refer to as "wearing your heart on your nose." Or looking at the world through the filter of your emotions or self, to state it plainly. Which causes people to unconsciously assume that everyone thinks, feels, and finds satisfaction in the same things as they do, or at least should. This causes us to believe that what is good for us, should be good enough for everyone. Such attitudes lead only to distorted interpretations, and the misunderstanding of others. This often leads to judgmental, critical, insensitive, and ultimately unloving behaviors. This should not be found in the church at all. Yet, we do see it in the church with all too much frequency, because we fail to see and value the depths of the diversity that God instilled in us. This has become a huge liability to the church universal. Especially in our ability to unify the church in all our talents, as well as the needs

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