Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Think and Act 9.3.14 – Christians & Prejudice: Two Kinds of Prejudice and Ways to Destroy the Sin.

43c-prejudice

Prejudice is a big topic right now.

Michael Brown’s death has sparked what can only be described as the most recent manifestation of America’s racial issues. I’m not here to solve them. Volumes and years have failed to completely heal our differences, although progress has come about.

What I want to talk about tonight is prejudice. Prejudice is a preconceived opinion not based on actual experience (my computer’s dictionary told me so). How are you tempted to think prejudicially? In what ways have prejudicial patterns formed in your thinking?

Two kinds of prejudice, then a couple thoughts on building stronger communities and churches.

1. Destroy the sin of racial prejudice.

If I call it a sin then it becomes a bit more real, doesn’t it? Sin is something God hates. I think God hates racial prejudice. I am not calling you prejudiced and I’m not claiming perfection. But, I am asking if you think the powerful passages in Scripture about breaking free from sin apply to this sin as well. If it’s a sin you struggle with, is it easy to just bury and not deal with it because you don’t REALLY have to?

If you think about specific races with disdain or perpetuate racial jokes without, then you are acting outside of the realm of experience. It’s sin – against God and man. And God gives us ways to deal with it.

2. Destroy the sin of age prejudice.

I could include a number of types of prejudice in this article, but I think one that is vastly overlooked in the Church (that big C Church) is a prejudice relating to age. This occurs when people in ANY age range form opinions about those in different age ranges without experience.

If you’re young, what steps have taken to identify with older folks, or increase your compassion for them? Is it really easy to look down on the enthusiasm and immaturity of youth? Certainly Scripture calls us AWAY from both attitudes (which is why I use the word “sin” to describe this) and actually calls those of various age ranges into specific relationship structures.

How?

Stretch your limits, that’s how. Here are a few ideas:

  • Build a relationship with someone you don’t understand.
  • Have a family of another race into your home for dinner. Go to their house as well if invited.
  • Read a book by an author of a different race. Ask someone of a different race their favorite kind of music and listen to it.
  • Read some history.
  • Ask an old person if you can interview them and get to hear their life experiences. If you’re older, do the same with a younger person.
  • Know about and pray about the sinful struggles of someone different from you. It will help you realize just how human you both are.
  • Truly pray for people who are different from you.

Those are some practical ideas, but each of them would fall flat without repentance and relying on God’s grace. Start now. Confess these divisive sins, even if it’s not cool among your peers or friends. Ask God to give you the grace to turn away from them. Rely on him as you make effort to stretch your limits and increase the types of relationships that influence your life.

Think. How can you be drawn closer to Christ’s example and the Bible’s teachings in these complex areas?

Act. Take bold steps to leave a legacy as a unifier. As you do, you will build necessary relationships to increase perspective in your life and others. You might also be building a stronger community that may be needed in the wake of a future event.

Photo credit: https://marandarussell.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/43c-prejudice.gif

 

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