Last week I was able to attend a seminar presented by Calvin College which was held here in our auditorium. The guest speaker was Arthur C. Brooks, and the theme of his talk was “Bringing America Together.” His main point was how people have a tendency to look with contempt at those with different standards, opinions, or beliefs.
I was reminded of another seminar I attended a few years ago in which the speaker referred to the Law of Differences. The Law of Differences says that there are two paths we can take with regard to the differences we encounter in others. We can either judge others for their differences, or we can value others for their differences. When we judge others, we see their differences as weaknesses which leads us away from a relationship with them. Essentially, the relationship “dies” before it even has a chance to begin. However, when we value others despite their differences from us, we are laying the foundation for a thriving relationship, a relationship that “lives.”
We can choose to value another’s differences, or we can choose to judge them. Our decision dictates whether the relationship “lives” or “dies.” Of course, we are not going to see eye to eye with everyone, even other believers, but as Christians we should always strive to value the strengths in others, even those we may staunchly disagree with. As John 13:35 reminds us, the world will know that we are Christians by the love we have for one another.
What a good reminder to start of this new year—to love one another and value our differences.
You are invited to attend this series presented by Calvin College throughout the month of January. SJCS is hosting a simulcast each weekday from 9:30 - 10:30 in our auditorium. The January series is designed to help Christians Listen, Learn, and Discern. Here is a link to more information regarding this series.