August 29, 2014

Daily Advance – Weekly Column
By D. Clay Perkins, Ph.D.
President, Mid-Atlantic Christian University

The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 

1 Corinthians 12:12 (NIV)

“Variety is the spice of life,” we have often heard. In contrast, another axiom may feel more comfortable for many of us: “Birds of a feather flock together.” Just look at the chaos we know as a banana split. There may be comfort in that same old vanilla cone, but there is often more joy in diversity like a banana split.

Higher education once taught us that the world was flat. Now we know better. Higher education, in the field of Sociology, has taught us that America should be a great melting pot. With all due respect, that thought is also wrong. Humanity shines best when one celebrates the diversity found around the corner and around the globe. A society good for all citizens is better represented by a stew pot, and not a melting pot.

When Momma made beef stew, those carrots were much better after being mixed with that meat … those potatoes were great when they mixed with those onions … that meat was far better after stewing with those vegetables. Nevertheless, those carrots never became meat. And those potatoes never became onions. But because of the diversity in the pot … yum, it sure was great.

Those with deep spiritual heritage will remember the song, “Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.” We would do well to remind ourselves that in the end, we will be celebrating with people from “every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9b). Why not start the celebrating now with people from all walks of life?

I do admit I like people like me. After all, I like me. But I have learned the joy of relationships with people not like me. Love shines best when we respect others. Life is more complete when we honor others, their cultures, and ways of life.

Look at the simple, yet complex, example of our body: such a variety of parts with so many different functions. Alone, the parts cannot function; but when placed together, they can build a bridge, write a song, find a cure, soothe the hopeless. The hand will never be a foot. And the eye will never be an ear. But where would the hand be without the foot? And where would the ear be without the eye? (See 1 Corinthians 12:12-31.)

Join me in enjoying the diversity found in our churches, our families, our friends, and our nation. Stay who you are. But let variety spice up your life and enrich it. You will be glad you did.

Stay focused.

This article first appeared in The Daily Advance and The Daily Advance owns the copyright for this article. Contact Publisher Michael Goodman at mgoodman@dailyadvance.com for permission to reprint.