The world in which we live in seems to have gone crazy. We are regularly hearing our representatives arguing with each other. We are divided in so many ways and by so many labels. Politics and agendas are dividing us black against white, women against men, and in many, many other ways. The word “choice” get’s thrown around in a variety of ways during all of this, too….. another way to label and divide us as a people. And while the women’s march had hoped to unite women as indicated by their mission statement: “We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families – recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country,” in many ways it divided us amongst ourselves due to various things that the march supported. For instance, I read of two Pro-Life Women’s groups who had their partner applications rejected due to the fact that they were Pro-Life. I’ve heard of instances where women in Christian small groups argue among each other about their passionate beliefs of what is “right” and what is “wrong”. We are arguing with each other on social media.
The Women’s March website quotes Audre Lorde: “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”
I disagree with this statement, at least in part. As humans we are taught from an early age to sort and divide out things: round pegs go in round holes, square pegs in square holes. We collect all of the same color items together and put them in a compartment – i.e. think a color sorted lego brick tray. This has been engrained in us.
What I’ve noticed in all of the chaos is that we are each looking at our differences and allowing those differences to separate and divide us. Whereas, if we started to focus on the similarities, then perhaps we might begin to see how we can come together. As Lenny Hall mentioned this week’s in Monday’s Word for Men, “We are all fearfully and wonderfully made for separate and individually unique purposes. Therefore there is something inside us all that screams for all others to recognize us as individuals,” (emphasis mine). Yes, we are each individuals, and yes, we should recognize and accept our differences, but instead of screaming for others to recognize “me”, instead focusing on the differences to “celebrate”, why not celebrate our similarities? Why not focus on the similar fact that we all want a better world and culture to live in for ourselves and our families? Think about it, when you meet someone and “hit it off” in relationship, what is it that makes you feel good? Why do you say, “We really hit it off,”? Often it’s because of what you have in common with each other.
We do have a choice in how we view and look at things… just like the old ‘look at the glass’… do you choose to look at it as half-full or half-empty?
The recent current events have weighed heavily on my mind. The women’s march, the nominations, the accusations….it’s enough to make one want to crawl in a hole and hide. I could choose to do that, yes. Or, I could choose to criticize every move our leaders make and be quick to judge as they attempt to do what they feel is right for our country. Or, I could try to be patient, supportive and watchful to see if things will improve. These are all choices I have and whatever choice I make, others will certainly be watching that choice as well.
From my devotion I was reading this week:
The power of choice is one of the greatest gifts God has given to us as His image-bearers. People controlled by shame often feel that they don’t have that power – that their lives are limited by the circumstances of their past, or the control or scrutiny of others. Therefore, they often feel that their future is completely out of their hands.
When I discovered I could actually choose for myself, that was a huge revelation. The truth of God’s Word brought me new light and strength.
I saw that I did not need to remain a victim. No, I could not change the past – neither what happened to me nor what I had done – but I could make decisions now that would change the future. Not just for me, but for the generations who would come after me. I had allowed the enemy to convince me that I was powerless, voiceless, helpless, useless, meaningless, a victim of all that had happened to me, but now I saw that I had the power to choose freedom.
When you choose to focus more on what Jesus has done for you than on what others have done or said to you, you will have the faith to stand up and start moving forward.
The emphasis above in the passages are my own. Women, daughters of our loving God, I pray that we can each “focus more on what Jesus has done for you than on what others have done or said to you” this week and moving forward. Remember, change for good often starts with ourselves.