Posted in Family, Grace, gratitude, life, love, loving others, prayer, Scripture, thankful

Same Kind of Different As Me

Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:14

Opposites attract.  I’ve heard that all my life and I think it is true…well, at least sorta.  I mean, take my wife Judy and me.  In a lot of ways, we are similar.  We both like to eat…though I prefer dessert and she prefers food.  We both love traveling and adventures. We both love Jesus.  We both love to serve people.  Oh, and we both love each other.  So, there you go…but wait, in some ways we are different.  We recently went on vacation.  She packed her bag and I packed mine.  Let me rephrase that.  She put…some would say dumped, clothes in her suitcase, sat on it, and closed it.  As for me, well, I neatly organized each item and even sorted them by the function and when they would be used. We are sometimes different.

You can see that difference with our phones too.  If you look at Judy’s phone you will see that the inbox of her email account has 28,246 emails…and I’m not kidding.  On the other hand, my inbox has about 10 emails in it.  In her case, it is a system for keeping and in my case, it is a system for filing.  Hers is “Welcome home and stay as long as you like” and mine is, “In you come and out you go.”  She invited the relatives to move in and I invite them to stay…for just a while.  And then there are the little red dots.

On the iPhone, when there is something that requires action, a little red dot appears on the screen.  The dot stays there until you do something about it.  Well, Miss Judy’s screen on her iPhone looks like it has a case of measles.  There is a red dot here, and here, and here, and here, and oh, here too.  Now on my iPhone, dots are not welcome.  When one appears I almost immediately stop what I am doing to find out what it wants me to do.  You know how when you are growing up and some people get acne, and some don’t?  Well, my phone is the one that doesn’t.

Now, all this is well and good and there really isn’t a right or a wrong…unless of course you can’t see the screen for all the dots.  No, the Bible makes it clear that each one of us is fearfully and wonderfully made.  Each one of us is a jewel…a masterpiece. Some like a full inbox and some like it empty.  Some are organized and some, well, are not quite as much. Smile.  But here is what we need to remember…especially in relationships…especially in marriage.  Someone once said that if both people in a marriage are exactly alike…well, one of them isn’t necessary.  In any relationship…and especially in marriage…diversity is a good thing…a needed thing.

But wait…it’s not just in marriage…it is true with the team at work.  It is true with the people you worship with.  It is even true with the team you play with.  Diversity adds depth.  Diversity adds richness.  When we start feeling comfortable to associate with those who are different from us; when we start embracing others, even though we don’t always agree, a strength develops, and we all become better for it.

Judy and I have been married now for 45 years and people frequently tell us how much they appreciate the example we set in our marriage.  Well, first, let’s be honest.  That is largely because I married up when I married Judy.  But beyond that, well, we have learned and are learning to appreciate our differences.  There was a bestselling book and later a movie about two men from backgrounds that could not have been more different.  And yet, over time, and with no small thanks to Jesus, they became friends.  The impossible became possible.  The book and later the movie were entitled, “The Same Kind of Different as Me.” Read the book, it will inspire you.

I think that means that in spite of the fact, that they were incredibly different, there was something that overpowered their differences and that was love.  They both discovered Jesus and that led them to share Christian love for each other. Paul, the guy who wrote a chunk of the New Testament said it like this, “Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” The common denominator of love strengthened their lives and their friendship.  It worked there and I can tell you it will work in whatever world you live in. We will become stronger and better when we learn to accept ourselves and others for who God made us. Need a little help?  No problem…He’s got that.  Bro. Dewayne 

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Southern born. Love God, my wife, family, and a great adventure.

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