Source: Sherman Publications

Spiritual Matters
Understand the importance of our differences

November 14, 2012

Last week’s election was very interesting. Prior to the election, the animosity between the opposing groups had become very strong and neither side seemed to comprehend that the other might win.

What we will find, however, is that no matter the outcome, the world will not fall apart. In your mind, it may be a step in the wrong direction, but it can be reversed just as it has so often throughout history.

The bigger problem is our lack of understanding the broad perspective of our need for one another. In the beginning, when God created man, He did it in such a way that we would see our need for someone opposite than ourselves.

The Bible tells us that God created man and then observed, “This is not good.” I am sure that the woman could have a hay day with this statement, because the result was the creation of woman who was taken out of man. She would stand opposite of Adam representing the opposing person to him.

It seems that God has created all things with a polarity of opposing forces. The smallest particles of creation are held together by a nucleus keeping negative and positive charges in sync. The creation of mankind follows the same route with opposing forces, male and female, creating a balanced environment for the family.

It is this environment that Christians extol as the perfect blend for the raising of children and forming the basis of a strong society. Although the contemporary world finds fault with our stand, it is a logical one—not just an old-fashioned, moral restraint that we want to impose on the greater society.

This pattern is a good one, but will only work well when people understand the importance of our differences and the need to draw from the strength of others who are different.

Just like the family, our nation has two political parties. If you could look at it from the biblical family perspective, one could easily see that they represent the two poles of family life. The Democrats seek to be aware of the needs of people and meet those needs; the Republicans focus more on personal responsibility. This represents the views traditionally given to mothers and fathers.

Mothers are typically the nurturers and fathers are the enablers. It is no coincidence to me that the polls always show men tending towards the Republican candidate and women to the Democratic candidate. The issues certainly have nurturing and enabling aspects. In an election race, each candidate will typically have two separate plans on how to reach women and men, because this is an obvious need when considering the way each gender looks at the world.

As a country, we are like the movie The War of the Roses, where the man and woman become so enraged with each other that they try to kill each other at the end of the movie. We have become a nation divided into many groups—each one living in their own world, with a worldview distinct and without the influence of the others. Therein lies our demise; we do not want any influence that would seem contradictory, even though like the smallest particles of creation, it would provide the balance needed to keep things moving. It is time to learn our lesson—we all have something to give, but we all have a need to receive something as well.

Someone recently gave me a card with a message inside that said, “Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.” I am sure that some may disagree with this, but I liked the statement because it showed, in a practical way, how knowing something could actually be detrimental to our full understanding. Wisdom comes through dialogue and is only possible with maturity. The challenge for each of us today is to move past the animosity and see the benefit one another can bring to the collective part.

The Rev. Loren Covarrubias is pastor of Mt. Zion Church