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I’m liking the candy corn around me, deep azure skies above, and an extra hour of sleep on the horizon. I like autumn, but it’s not my favorite. Before passionate fall-enthusiasts take defensive aim, let me just honor your right to like whatever you choose. Perhaps your heart skips a beat when pumpkin pie shows up on the table. My eyes glisten at herald angels singing, but my kids wretch at the first carol on the radio. Though I wish they could enjoy my favorites with me, it isn’t a household rule. My family knows what they prefer, and it isn’t always aligned with my wish list.

 

We often bristle against our dissimilar preferences in the family of God. Professing what we like and what we don’t can turn into household rules edging out those who disagree. Options diversify and thereby beautify the world, but make poor legislators. Scripture doesn’t command us to like everything, nor does God insist we all like the same things.

You’re welcome to enjoy the old hymns while I prefer the electric guitar. Both obey the Biblical call to worship. Please serve the homeless, but allow me to encourage the abused. Both follow the call to care for those in need. As long as we follow the Word of God without changing it, we can show His love in the unique ways we like. The Lord created us with intentional differences in likes and perspectives. He knows what His children enjoy better than we know ourselves. 

So, whether you eat candy corn by the layer, by the handful, or never touch the stuff, notice how the varied colors offer beauty to the season. The same ingredients flavor each part, however. In God’s Kingdom, each unique hue carries the potential to deliver joy sweetened by the same Spirit of Love. When we join hands in love, God transforms us into a beautiful family which honors our unique brothers and sisters to more perfectly glorify the same Lord.

“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink… Now if the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? …But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be…The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’ …But God has put the body together… so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”

– 1 Corinthians 12:12-26

 

“God sets the lonely in families” (Psalm 68:6).

When joking with my father and his uncle about our Webb ancestry, I nudged my son. “Show him your thumb.”

In a synchronized motion, he and I demonstrated the hitchhiker’s gesture. Our thumbs bent back to a ninety-degree angle. We could balance a textbook on our proof of family lineage.

“Got the crooked toe, too.” I winked.

Genetic threads link family members from one generation to the next through observable traits. Everything from blue eyes to heart arrhythmia can match us to our cousins.

“The promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham…For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God”(Romans 4:16, 8:14).

After we surrender to Christ, the Lord rebirths us into eternal life as members of the family of God. Kinship networks spread beyond our blood ties to include a vast group, reaching backward and forward through the ages. God adopts us in among faith-founding ancestors, siblings, and future generations influenced by our legacy. When you consider all those kinsmen in spiritual supervision of one another, Paul’s mention of a “great cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12) seems like an understatement.

Christ renews each redeemed soul, shaping us into His likeness as we follow Him. We share the Holy Spirit, flowing across time and space with greater power to identify and connect individuals than DNA.

While some Christian siblings might share a few divine traits with me, others carry gifts I do not possess. Though He creates us all in His likeness, we each reflect God’s nature in a unique way.  The value of our similarities remains, but we must also appreciate our differences.

Next time you enter a gathering, observe how each of your brothers and sisters resembles the Father. Who has His eyes? His lips? His hands?

What about you? Do you have a thumb joint pointing to your divine lineage? If you’ve never considered your spiritual features, pray to discern how He designed you to resemble Him.

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