2001-11-04 - Prejudice

Encore 99-10-31

Prejudices, like people, come in many varieties. Some people believe that all poor people are lazy, not seeing those who work 40 or even 60 hours a week, but at minimum wage, and still must struggle -- nor the medical bills that quickly wipe out a family's savings. Some poor people think all wealthy people are heartless, and care only about money -- overlooking the generosity and compassion of some. Some Americans think all Muslims are fanatics who are eager to kill us, forgetting that many Muslims are like us -- individuals with families, values, feelings, dreams, lives and worries similar to ours. (Please note: I am not condoning their beliefs, some of which are incompatible with Christianity.)

Some Whites believe Blacks are inferior, ignoring the great contributions made to our society by Blacks, from famous people like George Washington Carver, to "everyday" people who are providing loving homes for their families and making our communities better places.

Some Black people think all Whites are prejudiced against them, discounting all Whites who see people as individuals, and some who even work and sacrifice to fight bigotry themselves. Some thin people think overweight people are lazy people, who sit around and eat all the time -- not paying attention to studies that show that metabolism and genetics play a part in size. Joking aside, some people genuinely believe Blondes are less intelligent than Brunettes, ignoring Blonde scientists, doctors and teachers.

It's easier to lump people into categories, than to try to see them as individuals who are all created in God's image. Today we will look at a bit of what God's word has to say about prejudice.

God loves each one of us equally, and Jesus died for each of us. God does not judge us according to our race, stations in life, sex, appearances, or prowess; He looks into our hearts.

Gal 3:28 (NRSV) There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.

James 2:1-5 (NRSV) My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, "Have a seat here, please," while to the one who is poor you say, "Stand there," or, "Sit at my feet," have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him?

1 Sam 16:7 (NRSV) But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the LORD does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart."

God's children come in all colors; there will be no prejudice in Heaven:

Rev 7:9 (NRSV)After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands.

God uses and loves people of all colors, national origins, socioeconomic levels, sizes and temperaments. And we should love them, too.

Jan

[email jan]  cfdevpray@juno.com
http://www.cfdevotionals.org