Start with Your Heart
Any form of prejudice is a serious sin and it’s not an infraction that God looks at lightly. To call it anything but sin would be against what the Bible teaches: “Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin (James 2:8-9 NLT).
That’s pretty clear. I’ve come to the conclusion that prejudice; particularly racial prejudice may be the world’s most prevalent sin. No matter where you go in the world, somebody doesn’t like somebody else. You find it everywhere. And though it plays out in countless ways in our world most people would deny that they have any prejudice toward others. For us to move toward racial reconciliation, we must first admit and confess our prejudices. Why? Because racism is a sin problem, not a skin problem. This is not a minor issue to God. It’s at the heart of the Gospel!
Like many, you may have been raised to mistrust or stay away from what’s different. The fact is we all feel most comfortable with people like ourselves. That’s human nature. But as Christians we are new creations and we must learn to see people the way God does. How do you learn to see everybody who comes into your life the way God does? “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV). You have got to look at the heart. If we ever want to know someone’s heart, we must get past casual pleasantries and shallow conversations. We have to get to know them on a much deeper level. We need to ask questions and be a good listener. We must be empathetic and must always error on the side of grace.
We must always start with our own hearts. Confess our own prejudice! Then pray for God to help us see people as he sees them and to use us to help reconcile people to each other and most importantly, to him!
Grace and peace always,