July 22, 2013

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

I quote this verse every time I do marriage counseling, to explain that we are all of equal value, but whenever I do that I also have to explain that we have different roles. It’s interesting how much difficulty we have grasping that equality does not mean sameness; this isn’t mathematics we’re talking about here. In math, .25 and ¼ are indeed equal, but look different. Two people, on the other hand, might look different and have different functions, but still be of the same value in God’s eyes. We tend to value people based on their abilities and/or their possessions, but that’s not how God looks at it. If we are going to have God’s perspective, which is of course the way to greatest happiness and peace, we have to value people equally while recognizing and acknowledging their differences. That’s not easy to do, in our fallen human state. That’s one more reason why we need to cry out to God and depend on Him in everything.

I’m just as much at risk/fault here as anyone. I remember the pain of being the last person chosen, almost every time, in team division in physical education classes, and feeling devalued because of it. I remember classifying people on the basis of intellectual ability as my refuge and revenge, and choosing to despise people. That’s ugly indeed. I had the unique privilege of growing up rubbing shoulders with people who were highly admired by many, and understanding that they were just as human as I was. That has enabled me to ignore social standing for the most part in dealing with people, but as I said, I have my own pitfalls. It is only when we recognize our own utter dependence on the grace and mercy of God, and get a glimpse of His love which pours that grace and mercy out on us, that we are able to accept what this verse says. It is only when I understand how much He loves me that I can understand that He loves the person next to me just as much, and treat them accordingly.

Father, I am so quick to fall back into human categorizing and judging. Forgive me. Help me love people with Your love regardless of whether their abilities, possessions, or position are of any “benefit” to me. Help me acknowledge and rejoice in differences, knowing that they demonstrate the magnificence of Your plan of creation. May I be an unrestricted and unpolluted channel of Your grace and love to all, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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