We’re All Related

By Linda Tancs

There’s a beautiful Native American sculpture in Rapid City, South Dakota, entitled “We Are All Related.” It’s intended to represent hope for reconciliation, dignity and respect for the human race. I think it serves as a wonderful spiritual reminder that we are all part of God’s family, reconciled in Christ.

The Bible reminds us of our familial relationship in several places. For instance, John’s gospel states that believers in Christ earn the right to be called children of God (John 1:12). Although we may be separated geographically or culturally, we are not strangers or aliens but rather fellow citizens of God’s household (Ephesians 2:19-22). We were predestined for adoption (Ephesians 1:5), entitling us to call God our Father (Romans 8:15).

Outside familial bloodlines, are you able to see others as “relatives”? You may belong to a church where members regularly refer to each other as “brother” or “sister.” If so, how does it resonate with you? Do you leave the sentiment behind at the church door? Only through putting our spiritual inheritance into practice can we truly build a kingdom economy on earth (Matthew 6:10) that reconciles, dignifies and respects.

Who Do You Think You Are?

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.