“Have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?”James 2:4
This month was heavy, wasn’t it? We wish racism, ageism, sexism, and all the other “tough topics” circling society right now weren’t part of everyday life. But they are. As Christians, we should be able to discuss these issues and play our part in trying to bring them down.
This month’s podcast guest, Joi Freeman, started us off with inspiring insight into what she’s faced as a single woman of color in the corporate world. Her advice for finding hope in today’s society was the perfect way to embark into this month’s discussion in the right mindset.
At the core of most of the issues facing women and men today is the idea that people are different…and some of us aren’t comfortable with those differences. Dr. Michelle Deering, clinical psychologist and Mother-Daughter Relationship Consultant, encouraged all of us to focus on the richness of our differences. Can you imagine a world where everyone was exactly the same? Talk about boring!
“We all have a story. Our story is our life story. Our life stories are valid. We have lived and are living our stories. And we need to find ways to give voice to our stories and (respectfully) express and communicate our stories through our pain, triumphs, loneliness, and togetherness. These stories have made and make us who we are in the present moment.”dr. michelle deering
Then Judy Foley shared her story of surviving sexual harassment in the workplace, an incident that many women today can unfortunately relate to. Her ten year journey to pull herself out of that dark time and turn her story into one of empowerment inspired her to start Culture of Trust, a collaborative organizational program designed to help businesses and individuals create a lasting culture of change. Her book, RETALIATION AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL: Why CEOs, Boards of Directors, and HR need to Change the Culture, is available on Amazon and further dives into her mission to balance the playing field in the workplace.
“God uses each experience we have to refine us, and uses our adversities and skills to help define who we are to be and how we will serve God with our lives. I am moving forward with the plan of focusing on culture, diversity and inclusion as a priority as Gods work. I will need to keep my eyes and ears open to where God wants me to move forward and make a difference in this world.”Judy Foley
Why are these issues prevalent in the world? We know the world is full of sin, but these cultural civil wars seem especially depraved. Racism, ageism, sexism, and all the other sources of conflict today have something sinisterly in common: self-centered opinion. Everyone is focused on what they think is “normal” and “good” and have entirely forgotten there is only one definition we need to operate by: God’s.
The initial plan was Eden, a perfect place of ultimate harmony. Sin stole that from us, but God still created differences and clung to the desire that His children utilize their uniqueness to each accomplish a different part of His kingdom plan. Being different is an opportunity to nurture those around us with different and beautiful viewpoints. Instead of condemning someone for not conforming to your idea of “right,” ask God to show you how they can be a blessed addition to your life and in turn, how you can impact their life for His glory.
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”1 corinthians 13:4-7
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