Prejudice is a hot topic in the news
these days. You may be aware
of this, dear reader, unless you are completely out of touch with the
vast array of news media which is able to bombard anyone and almost
everyone with some truth and lots of opinions which are believed to be
truth by the opinion-holder.
What is prejudice? a simple web
search led me to the following:
[ ˈprejədəs ]
noun: prejudice ·
plural noun: prejudices
preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual
All that begs the question what the
cause of prejudice is, and how one
can avoid being prejudiced or stop being prejudiced.
The world seems to bet that education
is the key to avoiding
prejudice. I believe that it takes a significant act of God to
stop prejudice! I say that because that is what it took in my
life to deal with that issue.
It began, as corrections frequently
do for me, with reading a verse or
two of Christian Scripture:
Then Jesus said to
the Jews who believed on Him, If you continue in My Word, you are My
disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall
make you free.
There cannot be Jew nor
Greek, there is no slave nor freeman, there is no male and female; for
you are all one in Christ Jesus.
"The truth shall make you
free." Free from what?
Free from untruth, I suspect!
"Neither Jew nor Greek, Slave nor
freeman, no male and female" if one
is "in Christ". Now that also begs a question: What does it
mean to be 'in Christ'?
"The church", being the usual beliefs
of Christians in general based on
my observations, seems to believe that one is 'in Christ' if one either
'believes in Jesus' or receives Jesus into one's heart.
But the fact that there are so many
disagreements and so few agreements
among Christians, both individuals and organizations, leads me to
believe that believing in Jesus or simply receiving Jesus into one's
life is not getting the job of unity and truth done!!
I have come to the conclusion that
one must both WANT to know the truth
and be set free from untruth, and ask Jesus, Who declared Himself to be
"The Way [to God], The Truth, and The Life" in order to BECOME free
from untruth and able to discern truth from untruth.
Now, back to the topic of prejudice
and how to be set free from
Prejudice is preconceived opinions
not based on reality [my
paraphrase]. Prejudice appears to be the common fault of
mankind. But real Christians are literally CALLED-OUT of the
normal frailties of mankind to live a life of purity and holiness by
abiding in Jesus and allowing His purity and holiness to prevail over
all impurities and unholiness.
So, how does that reality of being
transformed from prejudiced one to
holy and pure one begin? For me it began years ago on an occasion
when I was just getting ready to vent what I thought was my 'righteous
indignation' over a news report of some long-forgotten bad deed by some
long-forgotten person - when God intervened. He simply spoke to
my heart and said, "Are you sure that you are right?"
God has a way of arresting a person
in mid-indignation with one short
question. By that time in my life I had learned that God does not
ask questions to get a 'yes' or 'no' answer. He does so to probe
the heart of the person He addresses. So I stopped my rant and
thought about that question. I occurred to me that I was probably
not right - due to the fact that God had taken the time to interrupt my
rant. So I lamely said, "No, Lord." He then asked the next
obvious question: "So, why then are you ranting?"
I realized that it was because I had
jumped to conclusions about all of
the facts of this news report, accepted them as true, and had joined in
the prejudices of the news report as if the Righteous Judge of the
Universe had written the news article. I was stunned at the
quickness of my unwarranted assumptions and premature judgments!
So I asked God to forgive me for my
obvious sin and to cleanse me from
my unrighteousness so that I would not enter into that temptation
again. I cannot say that I have successfully avoided such sins
since that time, but I have become keenly aware of my and our
inclination to pre-judge people and situations based on mere
speculation or past experience without really knowing the truth about
the situation at hand. I have also learned to ask God - Who DOES
know all the pertinent facts - what, if anything, I should do about any
situation which arises, and to keep me back from making prejudicial
IMPORTANT!: I have also learned
that we can eliminate
distinctions between Jew and Gentile, rich and poor, slave and free,
and all other classifications of people by simply recognizing everyone
as a precious soul for whom Jesus Christ died to save and sanctify in
I hereby invite the rest of God's
creation to do the same as I have
done by virtue of His amazing grace and mercy as the Righteous Judge
and King of all creation.