Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 1 Peter 3:8 ESV
Persian and Oriental rugs whether made in tribal or city surroundings are all hand-knotted, the weaver ties the material (whether it be wool or silk) around the warps of the foundation using one of several different knots. Each rug is made to a design, whether that design is copied from an intricate design plate or is inspired by the weaver, their surroundings and their way of life depends on the type of rug. After each row of knots is complete, individually tied using a variation of colored wool to form patterns, a weft strand is tightly packed between the newly completed row and the one which is about to begin, keeping each knot firmly in place. One rug can take months or even years to complete, ensuring the owner gains a unique work of art that is not only beautiful but practical and often extremely durable.
The diversity that exists in the world reflects the genius of God. The Lord is a masterful weaver who uses Jesus as the foundation of everything that exists. Creation was hand-crafted by God. Each human being is made with a unique design inspired by God. Our surroundings and way of life are predetermined and depend on our God-given purpose. In each country, God uses a variety of ethnicities, genders, ages, and gifts to form patterns that enhance His divine tapestry.
When we reject diversity, we also reject God’s sovereign purpose for His creation. If we truly believe that God is omniscient and too wise to make any mistake, then we should delight in the diversity of creation. That means, other people’s uniqueness should be esteemed. God is at work in all His creation. Our differences are not reasons for division. Rather, they confirm that we play a vital role in God’s divine tapestry.
In today’s text, the apostle Peter is exhorting believers to do several things. First, have unity of mind. That does not mean we have to think like everyone else. Instead, we are to use our distinctive thought processes to enhance the quality of life for others. When we come together with the shared goal of making this world a better place for all, racism, sexism, classism, and all other forms of sectarianism are defeated, and love triumphs.
Second, Peter wants believers to have sympathy for one another. The Old Testament root of sympathy is the Hebrew and Aramaic chesed (mercy). This word does imply “the ability to get right inside the other person's skin until we can see things with their eyes, think things with their mind, and feel things with their feelings. From the Greek language, sympathy reflects the idea of experiencing things together with others, literally going through what they go through.
Sympathy reflects brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. It is our way of complimenting others, walking alongside them, sharing their burdens, and helping to keep them firmly in place as they go through the vicissitudes of life. When we do this, we acknowledge that our uniqueness and the distinctiveness of others are vital to God’s divine tapestry.
None of us can opt out of God’s divine tapestry. Nor can we choose who should be included in that tapestry either. All we can do is appreciate God’s creative plan and do our best to work in harmony with others by reflecting brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. God has formed a pattern in creation. That pattern uses a variation of races, and ethnicities that demonstrates God’s creativity and sovereignty. Let us, therefore, celebrate the work God has done by living in harmony with others.
Questions for Personal Reflection
Why do you think God created so many different races and ethnicities?
Why is diversity vital to our existence, and to the kingdom of God?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, I thank you for all my uniqueness. Please help me pursue the unity of mind with those that are different than me. May your Holy Spirit inspire and enable me to have sympathy for others and love them with the love of Jesus.