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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Wednesday, September 16

Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are.
—Romans 12:16

How often have we attended a meeting, conference or class and been told to sit with people we don't know or been told to break up into a small group where no on in the group is a friend?  Sometimes it seems exciting to have the opportunity to meet new people, but at other times it feels coercive, manipulative, and contrived.

When left to our own devices, we will most often opt to spend time with those we know, those who are like us, those who share our values and ideas, those we already trust. Then, when we encounter those who are different, we can slip into an attitude of haughtiness and superiority, as if separating ourselves through our attitude will let those around us know that we are not like them.

In the halls of heaven, however, the plea is that we live not in separation but in harmony. That only occurs when all barriers are broken down and there is no superiority or separation between us. The truth is that at the very core of things, we are not separate and distinct.  We all share the image of God, both those who are like us and those who seem different from ourselves.

Surprisingly, what we find when we are willing to look beyond our own walls of difference is that the person we thought was so unlike us is not only more similar than we thought,they are a gift from heaven meant to fill out the compressed pockets of our own soul.

Gracious God, when I am tempted to turn away in arrogance or fear from those who are different from me, help me see them through the eyes of your love.