In the beginning God created mankind in his own image. In the image of God, He created them male and female. Genesis 12:26
All men and women are created in God’s image! Whether black, brown, red or white, we are all created in His image. And we are all created uniquely, designed for His purpose. No one is better than the other and we are loved equally by God. Just like children are different in every family, we all are different with unique skills and abilities and opportunities to do what we were created to do.
In 1 Corinthians 12 we are reminded that in the body of Christ there are many parts, toes, hands and eyes etc. All are needed and valuable in God’s world and none are more significant than the other.
Our sin comes when we start comparing ourselves to others. It is only natural to compare but when we measure our lives against others, we can sin in one of two ways. We can become prideful and feel superior like the righteous brother of the prodigal son, or we may become envious of others and feel cheated or a victim of unfairness.
In Galatians 5:25-26 we read “Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.” The Message translation.
I was perplexed at first when I was told by some of my black friends that we weren’t supposed to be “color blind”. I had been told most of my life that to be “color blind” to all races was the goal. Over time I began to understand their viewpoint. The goal is not to ignore differences but to acknowledge and celebrate our uniqueness.
Galatians 5:26 addresses this issue. We should realize there are differences in all of us and it is not a sin to recognize those differences. Differences are actually what make the world interesting. Ethnic differences extend way beyond the color of our skin, to cultural and values. I’ve been all over the world and enjoyed the unique cultures. One way to help you better understand this biblical truth is to take a mission trip to another country and work along side of the people in that country. Get to know them and experience their culture first hand. It is especially refreshing to experience the different culture but discover how bonded you are by the same biblical values.
Our struggle is how to live out of God’s reality that we are all created uniquely and different but no one more significant, while living in a world that constantly evaluates people and every action. We live in a world that loves to compete, and compare, reward or shame.
Perhaps the best way to fight our urge to compare is to not focus on our shortcomings, hardships and insecurities, but instead count our many blessings and focus on and be thankful for life itself and for what God has done for us individually.
Beyond our blessings of eternal life and a relationship with Jesus, we should also thank God every day for living in the greatest time in all of history, with the greatest opportunities, the most resources, food, tools, digital gadgets at our fingertips to make our lives safer, easier and more convenient. We can travel all over the world quickly and relatively cheap, communicate with anyone anywhere at anytime.
Yes, and if you live in the United States, no matter your race or financial status, consider yourself privileged! We have more opportunities and freedoms to be successful than any country in the history of the world. Even if you are in the lowest income bracket, consider yourself fortunate because you could have lived in Europe in the 14th century during the Black Death or Bubonic plagues or any other country or time in history.
In Christ, we are created with unique gifts to do amazing things and because we live in America in the 21 century, we have all the opportunities and everything we need at our disposal to accomplish God’s unique calling given to each of us. Let us focus on how we can best use our gifts to love God and love others.