We can easily forgive a child for being afraid of the dark but the real tragedy is when men are afraid of the light! ~ (attributed to Plato)
Being prejudiced towards other people is like robbing ourselves of life and shutting ourselves up in a dark closet of ignorance, no other theft can leave us so poor as to be left with nothing but hate. We rob ourselves of opportunities to make new friends that we could have loved but regard as not worth being friendly towards.
Here are a few facts to help prevent us from being prejudiced towards other people.
- Jesus the Jew died the same death and went through the same pain for EVERYONE, 1st Timothy 2:6
- Christ desires the good news to be spread throughout the whole world, Matthew 28:18-20
- When anyone is “in Christ”, everyone is united as one, Galatians 3:27-28
- Our God is not a respecter of persons, He looks on hearts, not skins, Acts 10:34-35 & 1st Sam. 16:7.
- Every person in Christ is not only reconciled to God, but also to all Christians, Ephesians 2:12-18.
When Paul says that there is no Greek, Jew, barbarian, or Scythian, (Col.3:11) he isn’t saying that each of those groups lose their identity. But he is saying that any sense of hierarchy or elitism between those groups has been destroyed in Jesus. That’s an important distinction. Our ethnicity isn’t gone—only the hostility between races, cultures and/or colors. That is great news if we want to be real with people and quit pretending to be color-blind. Jesus treated the foreign woman begging for help in this way, when he spoke so bluntly about the direction of his ministry & position in relation to her position in society, read Matthew 15:22-28. It is my belief that true freedom from being prejudiced towards other people of any color is only found in Christ, because only Christ has the solution to sin. His blood is red, just like ours, but the only red blood which was divine, and yet he painfully sacrificed it to make us one! Therefore we are obliged to love our neighbor, regardless of who they are.
Never forget that an honest person alters their opinion to fit the truth, whereas a prejudiced person alters the truth to fit their opinion. Jesus met Nathanael who was prejudiced towards anyone from Nazareth, (John 1:45-49) but he was encouraged to investigate by Philip. Jesus did not disappoint Nathanael, because Nathanael was honest enough to challenge his own prejudiced opinions and investigate. We need to be like Nathanael and admit our prejudiced feelings and examine them in prayer before God. Our prayers must never be like the pharisee recorded in Luke 18:9-14, thinking of a publican as bad as the worst publicans. The pharisee judged the publican guilty by association. We can have a negative attitude towards any rich person we meet by simply thinking he is greedy, selfish and dishonest. Some rich people are greedy, selfish and dishonest but that doesn’t mean we should think that way of any rich person we meet. Are all lawyers liars? Are all doctors quacks? Are all police prejudiced? We should do ourselves a favor and keep our mind open for investigation before we form an opinion about anyone.