January 28 – Equality
Read: Colossians 3:11
“Do not think you have made any (spiritual) progress, unless you esteem yourself less than all.”
—Thomas á Kempis
The practice of seeing all people as equals is a difficult discipline, but one that brings great joy and delight to those who are willing to submit to Christ to be thus formed. This practice, though, is at the heart of the Quaker testimony of equality of persons. Quakers historically lived out this testimony by living and working as equals with people such as prisoners, the mentally ill, the poor, Native Americans, and virtually every class of people including royalty, Cavaliers and other socially successful classes of people. Quaker women moved easily into leadership and were trusted as faithful prophets.
Some friends make the mistake of believing equality simply means a “level playing field.” Men, women and acceptable minorities supposedly have equal access to all the “goodies” of our society. Nothing could be further from the truth. The testimony of equality calls us to honor every person and value his or her unique characteristics, treating others’ uniqueness as precious gifts from which to learn. On a broader scope, the testimony of equality of persons means valuing different cultures in much the same way. We NEED women in leadership, for example, because we want to learn from their experience and benefit from the direction and style their leadership provides. The same could be said for every minority in our diverse culture—even the minorities whose behavior and/or beliefs we find questionable.
There is “that of God in every person,” so when we honor all others we honor God and God’s purposes for humanity.
Do I and/or my meeting seek the transforming power of God’s Spirit
so that we are able to fully love and honor all others equally?