It’s easy to focus on our differences because so many times the only basis we have for figuring each other out is what we see. And at first glance, we are all very different from each other. But what we need to remember is that if we are followers of Christ, we all have one very important thing in common–we all have the Holy Spirit inside us. And if we have that commonality, no other difference matters.
Galatians 3:28 is the verse for today.
28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile,[a] slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Now, does this verse mean that once you accept Christ, you’re no longer bound by racial heritage or governmental law or gender? No. I am a follower of Christ, but my physical self is still an American with an English-Scotish-Irish heritage and God created me to be a woman. But my spiritual self–which is what this verse is about–is beyond all that. My spirit–my soul–isn’t physical at all and it isn’t bound to any of the descriptions or labels we need for a human body.
During the time that we live on Earth, we have the bodies God gave us. And He gave us the bodies we have for a reason, whether they function the way we think they ought to or not.
He gave us the families and the family heritages we have for a purpose; some of our families are more interesting than others.
And He allowed us to be born where He wanted us. I count myself blessed that God chose to allow me to be born in America, and I know I take that for granted most of the time.
And I also know that God created me to be a woman for a reason, although most of the time I don’t feel like I fit in with others of the female variety because I don’t like painting my toenails or shopping or being overdramatic. In any case, God made me female and in a physical body there are differences between men and women. Obvious differences.
But when we’re talking about souls, everything we know goes out the window. Because we don’t understand souls. And we don’t understand spirits. We think we do. But honestly? We don’t have a clue.
But what this verse is saying to me is that our souls are far and away above our concept of existence. As we are now, we have to label each other so that our differences make sense. We shouldn’t most of the time, but we do it anyway. But souls defy explanation. Our souls supercede sterotypes.
Can we wrap our minds around someone not having a racial heritage? Can we truly grasp a person that has no cultural history? And can we really understand someone who is truly neither male nor female–not the mixed up Gay-Lesbian-Bi-Trans issues we deal with in our society (which isn’t an issue of sexual equality; rather, it’s sexual rebellion).
Of course, we can’t understand any of that. Because there’s never been a person on Earth who is none of those things. Maybe people think they are. Maybe people think that they can be neither. But it’s not true. It’s impossible physically. If you’re a human being, you have a race. And you have a culture and a country of origin. And you have a gender, whether you claim it or not.
Our souls, on the other hand, were created without race–without culture–without gender from the beginning. Granted, God chose to place those souls in physical bodies with all of the limitations of humanity, but the day is coming when we shed those physical bodies and leave this existence–and we’ll go either to heaven or to hell, where our lives will really begin.
And when we reach either of those eternities, it won’t matter if your family mostly ate potatoes . . . or if your heritage embraced Communism or Democracy . . . or if your physical body was male or female . . . . All that will matter is if you know Jesus because that’s what determines your final destination. Because God doesn’t make the choice to send anyone to hell; we send ourselves.
So what this verse helps me remember this morning is that even though we may be different on the outside, our souls all have equal worth to God. Our souls are all on the same level. There isn’t one that’s more worthy than another. There isn’t one with a better family–because we’re all from the same family. There isn’t one that descends from a greater country–because our souls didn’t come from a country. There isn’t a soul that is superior either for masculine qualities or feminine qualities–because our souls are gender-neutral.
The only difference in our souls is that some are redeemed and some are still broken. Those souls who haven’t made up their minds still have time to make a choice. And those of us who have already chosen Christ need to get it through our heads that even though our phsycial bodies may be different, our souls are the same–and we need to stand united in Christ now more than ever.