Friday, September 25, 2015

Overcoming Racial Prejudice

Chuckle: The accountant's prayer: "Lord, help me be more relaxed about insignificant details, starting tomorrow at 10:53:16 am, Eastern Daylight Savings Time."
Quote: "Our wholesome attitudes about others can increase the whole sum of our happiness and successful human relations." --William Arthur Ward
"Peter told them, 'You know it is against the Jewish laws for me to come into a Gentile home like this. But God has shown me that I should never think of anyone as impure'" (Acts 10:28 NLT).
Last time, we saw Jesus as He crossed racial and cultural barriers to share the Good News with the hated Samaritan woman, and we who follow him must do no less. Peter's vision was a fresh insight for him. Perhaps no prejudice is more dangerous or difficult to displace than one held in place by religious tradition. Place of birth, cultural tradition, color of skin, sex, race, and nationality can also separate us. However, the gospel calls us all together as one family in God's church.
Mohandas K. Gandhi was the leader of the Indian nationalist movement against British rule and considered the father of his country. He is internationally esteemed for his doctrine of nonviolence for achieving political and social progress.  Gandhi says in his autobiography that in his student days he was truly interested in the Bible. Deeply touched by reading the Gospels, he seriously considered becoming a convert, since Christianity seemed to offer the real solution to the caste system that was dividing the people of India. One Sunday, he went to a nearby church to attend services. He decided to see the minister and ask for instruction in the way of salvation and enlightenment on other doctrines. But when he entered the sanctuary, the ushers refused to give him a seat and suggested that he go and worship with his own people. Gandhi left and never came back. "If Christians have caste differences also," he said to himself, "I might as well remain a Hindu."
Just stop and think about the impact it could have had on Gandhi's life and India if he had become a Christian. Gandhi's experience is a sad indictment of the "Christians" of his day. However, before we harshly judge those Christians, we would do well to examine our own hearts. What is your attitude toward people of other races and cultures? If you are experiencing prejudice towards someone that is hindering your ability to love and be concerned for that person, you would do well to ask God to help you overcome those feelings and open your heart so you can begin to see that person as God sees him or her.
Above all else, remember that God loves every other person in the world just as much as he loves you. When you are willing, God will give you a new heart and a new love and appreciation for all people. If we harbor prejudices against those of other races, I believe not allowing God to change our hearts and attitudes is an act of disobedience and rebellion against the teachings of Jesus.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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