“Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?” — 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?