“It was obvious to me that I was different, and it wasn’t until much later in my walk with Christ that I grew to understand that in Him I was also the same.” – Trillia Newbell
Revelation 7:9 says, “After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands.”
Trillia Newbill wrote a book entitled “United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity.” In the pages of United, Trillia reveals the deeply moving, transforming power of knowing—really knowing—someone who is equal, yet different. The goal of “United” is to open doors for greater awareness and communication about diversity, race and ethnicity because the gospel of Jesus Christ breaks down the barriers of skin color and ethnicity.
Unfortunately, the word diversity has some baggage. To many, the word diversity is equated to diversity training meetings, quotas or affirmative action. But for the Body of Christ, nothing could be farther from the truth. Diversity in the church isn’t about quotas or filling a gap. In fact, diversity isn’t really about diversity, after all. It’s about love. To celebrate diversity, you must first cultivate a love for people—a radical, wholehearted, grace-motivated love for others.
My prayer is that we will always find our unity in Christ as the truest definition of our lives regardless of our skin color, cultural differences, socio-economic backgrounds, family status, or political leanings. Diversity within the body of Christ has been a linchpin of Christianity from the very beginning and continues today. God does not distinguish between races in His saving love. He created man in His own image, sent His Son to save the world, and saves anyone who believes. To be a child of God requires one thing—Christ—and when we place our faith in Him, we are all counted as equal children.
Pray that God would give you a radical love for people. Pray that we as a church, would demonstrate the reality of Christ’s culture‑transforming love. Pray that your heart would be stirred to take an interest in others, in people who are different from you, in people who are also made in the image of God. And pray that we will look on people as members of God’s family coming together to worship and serve without thinking about one another as Caucasian, Latino, African-American, or Asian. Pray that we will embrace and celebrate diversity.
- How has the media influenced or affected your understanding and relationship of interacting with people with different backgrounds?
- What kind of conversations do you think that Christians need to have that will lead to diversity awareness in the church?