The older I get, the more I appreciate having people around me who think or act differently than me. As children, we tend to like everyone, we do not notice all the differences we have in personality or looks. When we become teenagers, we begin to choose to hang around people only like us; whether it is based on hobbies, intelligence, or beliefs. In college, the need to fit in is not as strong, and we sometimes branch out to meet people from different backgrounds or locations from around the world. When we become adults, I think it is easy to go back to what is comfortable and choose to be around people who are most like us. For myself personally, I have found that interacting with people different from me gives me a fresh perspective and different view of the world.

Romans 12:6-8 says,

“In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.”

God gifted each of us differently. He gave each of us different personalities because our differences meet diverse needs in the world. If we all acted the same, the world would be a boring place to live. Our differences in size, shape, personality, ability, and thinking make living on planet Earth enjoyable.

Let’s make an effort to celebrate our differences instead of letting them separate us. Nothing is wrong with being around people like you, but there is something special and life-giving about learning something new from your fellow human beings.