Read 1 Corinthians 12
One of the first things you’ll notice about a local gathering of Believers is none of them are just like you. And that might be disappointing. If you join a community hoping to find someone who gets all your movie references, listens to the same music as you, and is also a bioengineer for artificial houseplants, you’ll probably be disappointed. It sounds silly, but people’s natural tendency is to be with like-minded people. In 2019, Vice News highlighted a real estate company whose sole mission was to help people of a particular political party find new homes in areas which shared that same ideology. I dare say the Church is not immune from a similar desire for a “lifestyle enclave,” a group of people who think like us, talk like us, and look like us.
How does that desire line up with what Paul says to the Corinthians? It doesn’t. Everyone who places their trust in Jesus and follows Him is a member of the Church. It doesn’t matter what gift He has given you, what race you are, or your status in society. We are all members of the same body, and it is good our members are different from one another! We need other people to be strong where we are weak, and we need to be strong where they are weak.
But when we embrace this truth—that we need to be in a local gathering of Believers who are different from us—we’re going to run into problems. We’re going to disappoint one another, we’ll get frustrated with each other, and we’ll be tempted to say, “I’m better off on my own.” We need to fight the temptation which says isolation is better than community. God designed us to be in a harmonious, interdependent community, and we need to live that out.
Pray God would give you a love for people who are different from you, especially in your local church.