A black friend of mine contacted me and told me that his company provided diversity training and asked me my opinion. Wikipedia says, “Diversity training is any program designed to facilitate positive intergroup interaction, reduce prejudice and discrimination, and generally teach individuals who are different from others how to work together effectively.” As police officers, we had in-service training every two years to keep our certifications. There was always one class on diversity. Most of the time, the class was taught by a person who worked in the lower-income areas. They would explain that we just needed to treat people who lived in these areas with respect and dignity when we came across a person different from us. Most of the time, the person that taught the class didn’t appear to like police officers or sometimes treated us as racist, which made the lessons always interesting, to say the least. So, when you say diversity training, I feel two issues that should be addressed.
The first issue is how we should treat people. Don’t come to me with what society is saying. Let’s use what Christ says we should do. In Matthew 22, starting in verse 35, an Old Testament law expert tested Christ with a question. “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Okay, we can follow that, but Christ continues, “And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself” “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”” You might tell me, hey, this is easy, I can love my next-door neighbor who lives in a home like mine, has basically my same political views, and talks the way I talk, but Christ takes it a step further.
In Luke 10:25-37, we see the Parable of The Good Samaritan. Jesus tells the story of a certain man being jumped, beat up, and robbed, and the only one that would stop was a Good Samaritan. Understand Samaritans were considered by some in those days as a person most good Jews would avoid. Only the Good Samaritan stopped and helped the person in need. Christ is telling us here that it does not matter your skin color, ethnicity, social background, or even sexual preference. We are supposed to help and love everyone no matter what. Is that easy? This is what we have been commanded to do by our Lord and Savior. So, I go back to what the Bible teaches, using it as my reference manual, not some teachings from someone that wants to tell me I am racist because of my skin color.
To cover the second issue, let’s get back to my friend asking me how I would handle diversity training. This is what I told him. If I decide, I want to have a Bible on my desk, and I get a notice from human resources (HR) that somebody finds my Bible offensive. We have a concern. If I decide during Christmas time, I want to have a miniature Nativity scene on my desk. I get another notice from HR that I have offended someone. We have a significant problem. You see, diversity “is any program designed to facilitate positive intergroup interaction, reduce prejudice and discrimination, and generally teach individuals who are different from others how to work together effectively.” I am all for that, but we don't have diversity if you step on my religion. We have mob rules or society rules.
I can work with anyone. I have to put in this caveat. I can work with anyone as long as this person is not breaking the law, being immoral or unethical. If a male co-worker decides that he wants to be a she and comes to work in a dress, I will respect that person and work with that person as long as that person respects me. But if I find out that person has gone to HR and told them that my Bible on my desk offends them, we do not have diversity. If that person comes to me and says that he and a few other employees are going to march in a gay pride parade, and I tell him I am not going to participate. If I get a letter from HR telling me that I am offending someone by not participating, we don’t have diversity.
Whoa Jim, what happened to Matthew 22:39, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” I told you there were two issues here. You see diversity is a two-edged sword; it cuts both ways. We, as Christians, must take a stand for Christ. All the other groups are taking a stand for their beliefs. So why should we be any different? I am not promoting that you throw a fit and cause a scene in your office, but I would ask to speak to HR about the complaints and then go to God and ask Him what I should do next. This is a tricky question; but how deep is your belief in Christ? Let’s go back to the Gospel. Christ following God our Father’s will went to the cross for us. Most of the disciples met with horrible deaths because of their strong beliefs. We have another problem if you took your Bible off your desk because of a complaint and didn’t stand up for your beliefs.
I was fired from a job because of my work ethic, not my religious beliefs. The company’s CEO was immoral, unethical and if I looked closely, he was probably breaking the law. I told him I couldn’t lie to clients, and he said to me that don’t lie, just don’t tell them the truth. When I wouldn’t comply with his unethical way of doing business, he fired me. Wendy and I had just had Jessica, and here I was without a job, living in a house I couldn’t afford and no income coming in. I was ticked, to say the least. I wanted to do so many bad things against that CEO, another story for another time. Still, when I look back at what happened, God had a plan for me, and because I didn’t conform to a corrupt business environment, I am where I am today in a much better place.
God has a plan for you, but you must stand in His shadows and trust in Him. If the company you work for preaches diversity yet will not let you put a Bible on your desk, God has a better place for you. We just have to trust Him. I wasn’t following Him when I got fired, but He had a plan for me, and I am so blessed because of what happened to me. In fact, if I could find or see that CEO, I would thank him for firing me. God has a plan for you. All you have to do is ask for it. He will find you a different company, a different place if you follow His plan for you. He may also have you at this company to be His messenger. You may not see it at first, but I promise He is there with a plan, and we have to persevere during these “diverse” times.
James says it best “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12. What a blessed promise to stand up for Christ.
Jim has many years of law enforcement experience and has run the safety team at his church for several years. TSA was formed after he realized God's calling when multiple churches reached out and asked him to present at their church.