The world is beautiful because it is diverse. People are beautiful because they are different. Nature would not be so beautiful if it were not so diverse. A beautiful chorus is impossible without various tones and colors of voices. All of this beauty comes from diversity, which God created. Thus, diversity is the design of God, and harmony among diverse creatures glorifies His name. A work that God assigned to His people is reaching unity in diversity through love and truth.
Diversity is God’s design not only in the physical world but also in the spiritual realm. Diversity is necessary for the perfection of God’s people. God’s people cannot achieve the unity God desires unless they harmonize the various perspectives, talents, and cultures of their members. Therefore, for a congregation to achieve godly unity, it has to utilize its diversity, but it must do so through the filters of truth and love
One form of diversity which can contribute to the church’s maturation is the diversity of cultural backgrounds. Cultural variety in a congregation can be a beneficial thing. When cultural differences are correctly harmonized, the church becomes a more accurate representation of God’s people. In Revelation 7:9-10, we read about a “great multitude” comprised of people “from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages.” In the context of Revelation, this great multitude represents everyone who has been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, which is evident from the fact that they are wearing white robes and praising God for salvation. The point is that God’s people may be diverse culturally but they are united spiritually. When the church is the living embodiment of such unity, it glorifies God because this kind of unity is possible only through godly love and truth. Therefore, when a congregation overcomes cultural diversity and achieves unity in Christ, it means the congregation is mature and focused on love and truth. This glorifies God.
Another form of diversity that can contribute to the church’s maturation is the diversity of our talents. Each member of our congregation has a different and unique talent. The variety of talents, working together, draw the congregation closer to maturity. That’s Paul’s point in Ephesians 4:16 where he indicates that the growth of the body of Christ is caused by “effective working by which every part does its share.” Some can do more than one thing, but no one can do all things. Without integrating various talents in the congregation, our growth will be limited. So, God gave the church a variety of talents, and as “members of one another” (Rom. 12:4-8) the church has to encourage its members to contribute their talents for its benefit and growth. It is only through the integration of our various talents that the church will accomplish God’s mission.
As an engaged reader should have noticed, it is not necessarily diversity that glorifies God. If diversity exists without harmony, it creates conflict. God does not like disorder (1 Cor. 14:33). Diversity is like a raw material that we must possess and shape in order to turn it into a finished product. The final product must be harmony, unity, and perfection of the congregation. These fruits can only be produced through an emphasis on love and truth. Thus, diversity is an assignment God gave His people to work out so that they can grow toward perfection.
Our diversity is God’s gift for us. It is an opportunity for us to bear the fruits of unity and harmony which will inevitably result in our perfection, overcoming diversity. We are working with our diversity through love and truth. Utilizing and harmonizing our diversity is the means by which we can and will glorify God.
(I appreciate brother Kyle Rye, who willingly discusses and edits my articles so that they can be communicated to native English speaking readers. This is an example that we are overcoming the cultural and linguistic diversity through love and truth.)