“As believers in our Lord Jesus . . . you must never treat people in different ways according to their outward appearance.”
James 2:1 (GNB)
Racism begins with a lack of love. You can’t love someone like Jesus does and harbor prejudice in your heart toward that person. It’s impossible. We must love everybody the way Jesus does. Jesus gets very specific about this in John 15:12: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you” (NIV). How does Jesus love us? Unconditionally, freely, completely, and continually. So how should you love other people—even those of other races? Unconditionally, freely, completely, and continually.
Love doesn’t mean we approve of everything someone else does. Jesus doesn’t approve of everything we do, but he still loves us.
The Bible says, “As believers in our Lord Jesus . . . you must never treat people in different ways according to their outward appearance” (James 2:1 GNB). Although a person may look to be homeless, you should treat that person as you would a CEO.
Love is very practical. A couple that has been in my small group has seven kids, four biological and three by adoption from Rwanda. Knowing the three kids from Rwanda would likely have experienced racism, I asked them recently how they believe Christians should deal with race. They responded with very practical ways to love people of other races.
1. Don’t be colorblind. They like their color, so you don’t have to ignore it. Just don’t make decisions about them based upon their race.
2. Don’t tell people who’ve been treated unjustly that you understand. You don’t. Nobody knows the injustices others have faced. To say you do is simply being dismissive.
3. Remember that your history is not the same as their history. Someone born in inner-city Chicago and a person born on a ranch in Gallup, New Mexico, have different histories. And history matters.
4. Don’t ignore history or say, “Get over it.” Pain matters. These three kids with whom I was talking were orphaned because their parents were killed in a genocide. Your parents weren’t killed in a genocide. You can’t possibly understand their pain.
5. Fight all stereotypes. Everybody in the world feels stereotyped. But stereotypes are never true. Let’s commit to seeing each and every person as an individual, not someone stereotyped because of their skin color, creed, or nationality.
Together, when we love like Jesus does, we can eradicate racism.
Are you ready to start?
(By Pastor Rick Warren. http://pastorrick.com)
For further readings, follow our daily bible reading plan with us. Today's reading: Phil 3