Os Guinness is by far one of my favorite authors. I came across one of his books titled “The Global Public Square.” This opening statement is so profound and I wanted to explore and reflect upon it with you.
“We are now seven billion humans jostling together on our tiny planet earth, up from a mere two and a half billion in the lifetime of many living today. Small and insignificant perhaps in contrast to the vastness of the cosmos, we face a simple but profound challenge: How do we live with our deepest differences, especially when those differences are religious and ideological, and very especially when those differences concern matters of our common public life? In short, how do we create a global public square and make the world safer for diversity?
“The answer to this titanic challenge requires an answer to the prior question of who we humans think we are, and then attending closely to the dictates of our humanity. Put differently, we face a triple imperative that will be a key to our human future: First, to see whether we have reason enough to believe in the measureless dignity and worth of every last one of us. Second, to know whether we can discover a way to live with the deepest differences that divide us. Third, to find out whether we are able to settle our deliberations and debates in public life through reasoned persuasion rather than force, intimidation and violence—even in the age of the new media and a global resurgence of religion.”
I’m sure we can all agree that we are living in the most expressive and diverse times. The question that Guinness raised in this book is something that we all should take very much in consideration and deeply reflect upon.
We all have a tendency to value our uniqueness and differences and at the same time we devalue other people’s differences and uniqueness. There is certainly nothing wrong with diversity because God created us to be so unique.
It is amazing that all of the more than 7 billion people living on this planet earth possess a unique fingerprint. This shows that our Creator God had fashioned you with certain things that only you can accomplish. So why on earth should we compete with one another instead of valuing each other?
Can we make the world safe for diversity? Guinness addressed the question in three points. Do we have reason enough to believe in human dignity and value? Can we live together in spite of our differences? Can we reasonably debate and deliberate our ideologies without force, intimidation, and violence?
These are questions that we should be able to answer as we look at the purpose of our lives and the reason why God created us with our uniqueness. In order for us to respond to all these questions it is important for us to understand that our values and dignity are rooted in our Creator.
As I learn to discover my purpose in God and the reason for my existence here on earth, I will then learn to live together with others who are different from me and have different ideologies than mine. Consequently, my response or reaction toward others will be one of nonviolence and of course no intimidation.
If you take a look at a 1,000-piece puzzle, everything on each piece is designed to fit on one specific spot. Some of those pieces may look so similar but yet only fit on a certain specific spot. The designer of the puzzle created it to where every piece belongs somewhere but is uniquely designed to give a complete picture when it is done. It is not up to me to change the set-up of the puzzle—I just have to respect what the designer has created and it is up to me to put the pieces on their respective places.
Rather than fighting about our diversities and differences we need to learn to respect, deliberate, debate, reason and disagree respectfully. We may not fully understand all that is taking place around us or why the world is the way it is, but one thing we can rest assure. The grand designer, God, is fully aware of all that is taking place. What we have to do is find our purpose in God and fulfill our purpose through him.
Jesus lived through a very diverse culture as well. He taught his disciples through this commandment: that we should love God with all our hearts, mind, body and soul, and we should love our neighbors as ourselves.
I challenge every believer of Jesus Christ to remember that we are not the one to change his people, God is. We are not the grand designers, God is. Rather we are called to be the salt and the light. This is how I believe we can make the world safer for diversity. God bless.