Diversity, equity and inclusion – three words we see bandied about everywhere these days. These words have become a mantra of sorts for corporations, organizations, even schools. It seems every school system now has an officer of “diversity, equity and inclusion.” What is so special, so essential, about these three words that every group, every company, every organization – from the smallest business to the largest corporation – wants to be sure everyone sees them proudly proclaiming their practice of diversity, equity and inclusion.
To this end, new positions have been created and new individuals hired in each and every school, university, business, organization, company etc. to ensure that these three words make the leap from paper to practice, from ideology to reality. The way everyone has scrambled to appear to embrace these three words, one would think these were totally new, never before known words or concepts. But just like Solomon said in Ecclesiastes –
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
Yes, nothing new under the sun and nothing new about these three words either. In fact, the Creator of the universe, the Author of all life, is also the author of these three words – well with one slight but very important modification which is this – the “E” stands for equality, not equity. Why? Because equity is equal outcomes. Equality is equal opportunity. Opportunity versus outcome is an important real life difference.
Nevertheless, my Heavenly Father is most definitely the God of D.E.I. – as He is the author of each of these concepts. One has only to look around at creation to see the infinite diversity displayed in every aspect of it – in plant life, in animal life, in human life, we see diversity at every turn, we are surrounded by it. No two snowflakes are identical, no sunrises are the same, there are myriad varieties of tulips and tulips are just one flower among so many kinds of flowers that we can still be surprised by discovering new varieties that we hadn’t come across before.
From mountains’ heights to oceans’ depths, our earth is full of the diversity of God’s creation. From deserts to rain forests and the wide array of plants and animals that live in each one respectively, we see that there is no end to the diversity of all God has made. And that diversity extends to human beings. We are each unique and yet God knows us each personally.
“O Lord, You have searched me and You know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue You know it completely, O Lord.” (Psalm 139:1-4)
He is also the God of equality. We are each equally loved and valued as His creation, because we are each one created in His image.
“The Lord is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made.” (Psalm 145:9)
And His invitation to spend eternity with Him is extended to everyone equally. I read in 2 Peter 3:9 –
“The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” Our Creator gives each and every one of us an equal opportunity. In Romans 1:20 I read –
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”
God issues another of His equal opportunity, all inclusive invitations in Matthew 11:28-30, saying –
“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
We all receive the same invitation, giving us the same equal opportunity to accept or to reject it. But because our responses are different, our outcomes will be different. With God, there is equality, not equity. Outcomes are not equal. In fact, in Galatians 6:7-8 I read –
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
However, my Heavenly Father is definitely the God of inclusion. In Acts 10:34 I read this –
“Then Peter began to speak: ‘I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear Him and do what is right.’ ”
Another of His all inclusive invitations reads like this –
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
That “whoever” has no exclusions, no fine print. Everyone is invited to believe. God invented inclusion – He did so to ensure that no one would be excluded from access to Him, allowing His glorious diversity to be seen in Heaven as it is here on earth, precisely because He is an all inclusive God.
“And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Acts 2:21)
Heaven will reflect the God of D.E.I. perfectly. We are all equal in our Creator’s eyes – (sound familiar? “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator . . .) – heaven will reflect true equality along with true diversity and true inclusion. Here is a sneak peek at what we can expect –
“After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’ ” (Revelation 7:9-10)
Now that is a picture of diversity, equality and inclusion!
Truly there is “nothing new under the sun.” Our God is the God of diversity, equality and inclusion. He invented each of these concepts and He puts them into real life practice. Today we seem to be struggling to implement these concepts in our daily lives. Maybe that’s because we aren’t taking a page from God’s playbook, the Bible, about how to live out these values.
Heaven is a place of diversity, a place of inclusion, a place where each one of us will be equally loved and valued. We may not be correctly nor successfully implementing D.E.I. strategies here on earth, but we have the sure hope of heaven, where the God of true diversity, equality and inclusion reigns supreme. He will make all things right and you and I are equally included in the diversity which will be manifest in heaven. Because we serve the God of D.E.I., we can say along with King David,
“Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I/we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23:6)
sincerely, Grace Day