Are You Prejudiced?
Prejudice and racism is not something just connected with this nation’s history in the 1950’s and 1960’s. It existed here long before that time, as well as in many other nations. It still exists today among certain nations and individuals. In fact, we read of many examples in the Bible where individuals or nations demonstrated some sort of prejudice or partiality towards others. Consider with me a few examples of such:
1) Jews prejudice towards Samaritans. “Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, ‘How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?’ For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans” (John 4:9).
2) Jews prejudice towards Gentiles. Then he said to them, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean” (Acts 10:28).
3) Partiality shown because of money. “For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, ‘You sit here in a good place,’ and say to the poor man, ‘You stand there,’ or, ‘Sit here at my footstool,’ have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?” (James 2:2-5).
But what about Bible believers today? Does prejudice and partiality reside in the hearts of any Christians now? I believe so.
1) We too, can be guilty at times of passing judgment upon others simply based on their appearance (skin color or money), rather than using righteous judgment (John 7:24).
2) At times our speech and behavior betrays who and what we claim to be (consider Peter, Matt. 26:69-75). White, black, Hispanic and otherwise can be guilty of such.
Perhaps that was the culture and background you grew up with. If so, it was wrong. It was sinful. And if those thoughts, feelings, words and conduct are still a part of your life, then you need to repent and seek God’s (and perhaps others’) mercy and forgiveness.
Let us be reminded that we are commanded to “not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ…with partiality” (James 2:1). Whenever we are guilty of prejudice or partiality we have sinned against God and others (James 2:8-9). “There is no partiality with God” (Rom. 2:11), and there must be no partiality (i.e., prejudice) in the hearts of His children!