My father was a wonderful man, unfortunately he suffered from extreme prejudice. I believe most of it came from his father. Thank God that I and my siblings had a mother who worked hard at eliminating prejudice in her children.
Prejudice can creep into our lives without our awareness of what is happening. Sometimes it’s such a subtle thing that we don’t think anything of it. We might choose one cashier’s line over another because of race or dress or general appearance. In church or any public gathering, we may select seats next to people who “look like us.”
Or we might assume that people with power or wealth are unapproachable to anyone not in their league. This too, is judgment based on prejudice, not fact.
People are people…no matter what our skin color, economic status, education or neighborhood. We all want to be loved and respected by other people. We all experience painful times and good times. We all want to be understood.
Prejudice is really disrespectful…saying you know a person without even hearing their unique story. It is lazy and disrespectful of yourself, but mostly it is disrespectful to God and His sovereignty. Pre-judging also puts others in a box, limiting who they are and can be…it also puts you in a box, limiting what you are able to learn and imagine about yourself and others. And most importantly, pre-judging really limits God and puts Him in a box…denying His power to really transform hearts and a person.
Have you ever experienced the brunt of prejudice? If so, you understand the hurt it can bring. Ask God to use that experience to teach you to lay aside all prejudice toward others and, when possible, take time getting to know the real person.
Let us ask God to teach us to look at the heart.
Today, stop and notice why you think or relate to someone the way you do. Is it because of pre-judging, or is it based on data this person actually revealed to you. one of the biggest reasons we don’t witness to others very much is because of prejudicial ideas about that person. Don’t prejudge, enjoy the experience of asking questions and getting to know someone God loves.
Click here to share with the Stepping Stones community any prejudice that you have experienced or been guilty of.
Dear Father God, help me remember that people are people. Help me not to look down on anyone…or to be intimidated by anyone. You are the great equalizer. Jesus died for every person. Every person needs forgiveness. Every person needs Jesus. In my relationships with others, help me move past the outward appearance and see the heart. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One You sent to save everyone, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart
1 Samuel 16:7