• James Shepherd

Unity Through Diversity


Diversity and division. These are two popular words in current affairs right now.

I think most would agree that diversity is good in some things - nobody wants Cream of Wheat every morning.


Of course, we all want a variety of things in our lives, but do we really want people with a variety of opinions in our lives? I’m sure many of us have thought how nice and unifying it would be if “everyone thought like me.” But would it really be? Diversity adds freshness and value to the pool of ideas, enhancing our lives through technology, the arts, education, etc.

But is it diversity that causes divisiveness, or is intolerance the cause? And if the problem is intolerance, how can we become more tolerant of others? The Apostle Paul gives us a good answer to these questions. As is the case with many new movements, the early Christian church had its share of different personalities, thoughts, and ideas which caused friction and divisiveness among its members. The Apostle Paul wrote to many early Christian churches to help them navigate their way through their issues. In one of his letters to the church in Corinth, he wrote: "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all."

(I Corinthians 12:4–6)


What I understand from Paul's letter is that we can have diversity without divisiveness when we realize that it is the same God, Spirit, or Lord which is behind everything that truly exists and is truly good. It is the same God, infinite Love, which is the source of us all and encompasses all of our good and Godlike diverse thoughts and actions. We are all in the same family, God’s family, and under the control of Love. This Love is what unites us all.


We don’t have to wait for others to start thinking about and treating everyone else this way. But to the degree that we realize that we all have a common Parent, that infinite Love, we will see less division and more diversity and unity enriching our lives.

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