Our culture is one of individuality. We divide ourselves with labels and are encouraged to be independent. And God loves the diversity of creation! His Church is the most diverse group of people on the planet. But the moment we let our diversity begin to trump the purpose that God has set for our lives, we have missed the point of the Good News.
In the book of 1 Corinthians, Paul was writing to a group of believers in the city of Corinth. Corinth was a wild and crazy city, and when people became followers of Jesus they would often still live the same type of lifestyle that they’d been living before.
In 1 Corinthians 1:10, Paul told the Corinthian believers, “I urge you, my brothers and sisters, for the sake of the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to agree to live in unity with one another and put to rest any division that attempts to tear you apart. Be restored as one united body living in perfect harmony. Form a consistent choreography among yourselves, having a common perspective with shared values.” Remember: God loves our diversity! The Church is made up of both male and female, people of all different races and nationalities, people with all kinds of occupations, people with all types of talents and skills, and people of all backgrounds.
God loves diversity. But within that diversity, we are all to come together for a single purpose and mission. It is the same mission that Paul was given by God—to permeate the earth with God’s Good News. Much of his letter to the Corinthians is made up of Paul helping the Corinthians solve the divisions that were keeping them from continuing this mission. They were divided over which leader they should be following, what the limits of their freedom in Christ should be, over their different socioeconomic statuses, and over spiritual gifts.
I encourage you to read the book of 1 Corinthians this week. Look at how Paul helped them settle the divisions the Corinthians had in their context. And consider the divisions that are holding you back from fulfilling the mission that God has set before you for your life. Join up with your local church and do your part in making the name of Jesus known throughout the world.