My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? (James 2:1-4)
I am not prejudice! I love everyone! I treat everyone the same! Do you? Do I?
When you or I make statements that make fun of or belittle a group because of the color of their skin, we know that is prejudice. When we draw political lines to keep a certain element out of our school zones or our voting district, we should know that that is prejudice. Yet, there is more. There are other ways we show our prejudice. You may even not be aware of your prejudices until they are pointed out. I challenge you to take a deep look and see if you might be guilty. I know I am and this post is a way for me to not only confess, but make myself accountable for my actions and words.
Is My Prejudice Showing?
- When I make fun of a group because of their hair color, my prejudice is showing.
- When we push people away or disregard them because of their family or family history, our prejudice is showing.
- When we tell ethnic jokes or anecdotes that belittle a certain ethnicity, our prejudice is showing.
- When we belittle a community, town, county, or state we are lumping all who live or lived there into a prejudged category and our prejudice is showing.
- When I ignore the prejudice of others or worse support it, my prejudice is showing.
When my prejudice is showing, my Christian light is not.
When we show prejudice we are injuring others. Sometimes, I have excused my behavior as “just joking” or that I am “just picking at” someone and don’t really mean it. No matter what I believe about my motives, my words can be injurious. I am forgetting the Apostle Paul’s admonition, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Eph 4:29). How am I building up when I am putting down? “For out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers these things ought not to be so.” (Jas 3:10). How can we expect to bring others to Christ, if we continually injure them with our words?
I have some self-reflection to do. I see room for improvement. Will you take this journey with me?