Friday, January 18, 2013

Throwing out the old: Prejudice

"A renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all" (Colossians 3:11, New American Standard Bible).

The thing that I love most about spring is the new life that comes, even as you view a tree with lush leaves and flowers. The trees that once looked lifeless can come alive with the warmth that comes with the change of the season. God offers a similar renewal within us, when we believe in Him and turn to trust in His lead. He offers us this transformation that is breathtaking, as the old parts of us are shed and new life is given to us through Him and His work in us.

Prejudice can come in many forms, and in the verse above, we read it's not from God. Left unchecked, it can have destructive consequences in our community. It can tear at the perception of the value of the very marrow of a person.

What does the problem with prejudice mean for followers of Christ?

  • God made people, and Genesis tells us "it was very good" (Genesis 1:31). God loves all people, regardless of their race, class, history, or personality. He sent Christ to die for our sins that come between our relationship with Him (1 Peter 3:18).
  • During Jesus' time on earth, He showed us how to think beyond typical prejudices, as He reached out to and spent time with people from different cultures and backgrounds (Mark 2:13-17). He sacrificed His life for us and asked believers to tell the world about Him (Acts 1:8). He showed us God's love for us and for the world. 
  • The Holy Spirit was given when Christ left the earth. The Spirit is God's presence that is with believers, and can help us remove our old ways, like our prejudices. We seek to live this life that follows Christ because He "is all, and in all" - He is our everything, our joy and our saving grace (Ephesians 1:22-23). 

God can help us see others from His perspective. In Christ, we have the opportunity to show how God's love looks past some things the world tends to focus on. Let us pray our minds, hearts, and actions reflect God's kind of love.

Lord, thanks for looking at all of us, right where we are, and loving us. Reveal to us any prejudices we may have hidden inside, forgive us for those and remove them from our minds. Help us see others through Your eyes. Amen.

Above study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999).
Photo from