By Linda Tancs
Do you build bridges—or walls? Can you appreciate those who differ from you? Maybe you’re put off by others you encounter in everyday life who may have attributes differing from yours, like body art, piercings or multi-colored hair! Is your office culture homogenous or do you experience diversity? Don’t expect everyone to look, act and think the same way you do. James 2:1 reminds us not to show an attitude of partiality, prejudice or snobbery.
Jesus certainly showed what it means to broaden your circle of inclusion. To the shock of his Jewish compatriots, He associated with Samaritans, Romans and pagans, after all. Think of all the interpersonal conflict and war that has ensued over differences in ethnicity, cultural practices and gender, among other things. You need only read the daily paper for examples.
The best way to build bridges is to have a right heart attitude. 1 Samuel 16:7 exhorts us to see and think about other people the way God does—by looking at what’s on the inside. Then you’ll begin to view those you encounter as assets rather than potential liabilities.