“For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor” – well, doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives?” — James 2:2-4
Mahatma Gandhi wrote in his autobiography that when he was young, he read the Gospels and was considering converting to Christianity. He believed that in the teachings of Jesus, he could find a solution to the caste system that had divided the people of India.
So one day, he decided he would attend services at a nearby church and talk to the minister about Christianity. When he came in, however, he was refused a seat and was urged to go and worship with his own people. So Gandhi left, never again to return to church. “If Christians have caste differences also,” he said, “I might as well remain a Hindu.”
Prejudice and disunity are directly contradictory to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Over the past 50 years, our world has come a long way in eradicating divisions based upon ethnic and cultural differences. But as the church, we must be at the forefront of promoting racial equality because it is a clear biblical mandate.
Perhaps you know someone who struggles with prejudice. Maybe you even have struggles of your own. Let Jesus transform your thinking from the inside out. Reach out and love those who are different from you. Promote unity by casting aside prejudice and inviting people of all cultures to experience Jesus!
Pray and ask God to give you a welcoming attitude of grace when it comes to people who are different from you.
Questions for thought
Why do you believe many are tempted to accept people who are like them and reject those who aren’t?
How can you promote unity today by reaching out to someone who’s different from you?