About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

Home Page

 Diversity Within Unity


I approach issues from an analytical, detailed, and systematic fashion.  This God-given character trait helps me understand the issues.  Most of you are not so orientated.  I'm sure you are relieved about that.  You, on the other hand, have your own God-given character traits, many of which I am relieved not to possess.  Whatever traits we have, each has its advantages and disadvantages.   I, for example, sometimes battle with imposing my analytical, detailed, and systematic tendencies onto others.  Such a battle is common to all of us.        


The New Testament, especially 1 Corinthians 12, teaches diversity within unity.  Each one of us is a vital and distinct member of the Body of Christ, functioning in our own unique capacity.  Each one of us views things from our God-given personality and placement in Christ's body.  Imposing who we are onto others is, thus, unbiblical.   


Think of it this way.  A finger on your hand sees things from a much different perspective than a toe on your foot.  Both your finger and your toe have their distinct placement and function in your body.  You don't expect your toe to function as a finger.  If it did, you would be severely disabled. 


In order for the Body of Christ not to be disabled we must allow each other to be who we are.  We must not view others through the lens of who we are and expect them to function as we function.  If we dance during a worship service, that's fine.  There is no need to expect others to follow your lead.


I approach Bible study from my analytical, detailed, and systematic disposition.  I dare not impose those traits onto others, although I do admit, I sometimes really wish I could.  It is God, not me, who has formed each of us to be who we are.   Zechariah 12:1 makes that clear.


"The word of the LORD concerning Israel .  The LORD ... who forms the human spirit within a person ..."


When we allow our God-given personalities to function in the church as intended, the church will be the better for it.  Now that I've mentioned the church, all of this applies to each local expression of church as well. 


All expressions of church have the same underlying Biblical mandate, but how that mandate is implemented depends on the church's location, its cultural setting, its members, and of course, God's will.  Far too often we just copy and paste the success of another church.  That more often than not fails because it neglects God's specific plan for our local expression of church.   


There are Biblical character traits that all expressions of church should hold in common, but beyond that, things vary from place to place.  It is historically obvious that the first century church in Jerusalem functioned differently than the church in Rome. 


Allowing each other and each expression of church to be that which we have been called to be is what the Body of Christ is all about.  It is called diversity in one unified body.  


Home Page