Eliminating Differences

After reading Peter’s revelation in Acts 10, I realized that it could not be more relevant today. It is easy to read Acts 10 without thinking much of it. It is a common story and the initial thought may be, great, we can eat shrimp and bacon. However, we fail to comprehend how monumental the revelations were at the time. I can’t think of a difference that is akin to Jews and Gentiles in biblical times. It is definitely not something we are familiar with.

It seems like we are becoming more divided each day. It may be that I am becoming more observant as I get older or that people are becoming more rooted in their ideologies and beliefs than before. Whether it’s Democrats vs. Republics, Atheists vs. Christians, men vs. women, gay vs. straight, patriotic vs. non-patriotic or a million other dividing factors; we seem to be a generation focused on our differences and unable to overcome them.

For the sake of simplicity, I will use Democrats and Republicans as an analogy. It is apparent that Democrats and Republicans do not agree on many issues. Over a year after a very divisive election, we are still feeling the fallout. The ideological differences between the two groups seem to go far beyond political disagreements. Oftentimes it seems like they disagree for the sake of disagreeing. Now, imagine that one day you turn on CNN, Fox, etc. with the headline that both parties have agreed to forget their differences and accept each other as their own. This analogy doesn’t even begin to match that of the Jews bringing the news of Jesus to the Gentiles.

How do we overcome our differences? As Christians, we are called to love everyone not just those that we agree with. Regardless of denomination, religion, political party, skin color or other differentiating factors. This is not and will not be easy. Our culture teaches us that life is a zero-sum game and that we need to win at any expense. We must see through this lie and be willing to put ourselves out there first. We can’t wait for others to meet us halfway. We must be willing to go all of the way without receiving anything in return.

I will be working on this change daily and I challenge you to do the same!

Acts 10:34-36. Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right. This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.

Acts 10:44-46. Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message. The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles, too. For they heard them speaking in other and praising God.

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