By Clarence L. Haynes Jr., Crosswalk.com
The issue of racism is currently forefront in our nation and around the world. As Christians, we have a responsibility to respond to any situation in our world—not with our own point of view, but with a biblical point of view.
While your thoughts and opinions matter very much, we must make sure that they line up with what God has declared in his word. It is our responsibility to conform to him and his word, not for him to conform to our point of view.
With that in mind, I want to share with you some Bible verses, for you to memorize that will help shape your thinking in five important areas when it comes to racism:
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1. Diversity Is by God’s Design, Not Random
Ethnic groups, nationalities, tribes, and languages were all created by God. Every person you see walking on the face of the earth has been created in the image of God. This was by his design and it was his plan all along.
When you see diversity, you see God.
It’s amazing how we celebrate the wondrous diversity we see in nature. Yet we struggle to celebrate that same diversity that we see in humanity. They should both be celebrated equally because it all flows from the same person: our great and creative God who made the heavens and the earth.
From this point forward, with every person you see...remember these things about them:
They were made in the image of God—
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
They were formed by God’s hand—
They are the nationality that God wanted for them—
From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth
Also, remember that you are who you are because that is what God wanted you to be. You should celebrate that in your own life, and you should celebrate it even more in someone else’s life.
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2. You Are Called to Love Others
The standard for loving others is not based on how they treat you, but based on how God treats you. The only time you can stop loving others is when God stops loving you. Since that will never happen— you’re just going to have to keep on loving.
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.
1 Peter 4:8
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
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3. How You Love People Is the Evidence of Your Love of God
Don’t fall into the lie of believing that you can love God and not love the ones that he has created. Those two things cannot exist together. If a person says they can’t love someone, then it’s time for that person to examine their heart...to see if they really love God.
By the way, the evidence of your love will not be by what you say. It will be evidenced by what you do.
1 John 4:20-21
Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
1 John 3:16-18
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
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4. There Is Only One Body
The reality of life is that people generally align in opposing groups: Those who know God and those who don’t. Those who are believers and those who aren’t. Those who are part of God’s family and those who aren’t.
This should cause you to unite with those who are part of God’s family and have compassion for those who aren’t.
They aren’t your enemy, they are lost.
When you begin to see people in light of their eternal condition, hopefully, that will change how you see them. Red, yellow, black, white, Jew, Gentile, Hispanic, Asian, European, African, it doesn’t matter. Apart from Christ, they are lost forever.
This is what should move our hearts when we see other people.
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
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5. You Are Practicing for Heaven
If you can’t get along with your brothers and sisters here on earth...and if you can’t love people of a certain race or background...then heaven is going to be a miserable place for you. God’s design is to have people from every tribe, nation, and tongue populating heaven. Remember it’s: for God so loved the world.
Let’s get used to this wonderful mosaic of believers that God has redeemed from every tribe and nation of the earth. Learn to love these people now, because you are going to be seeing them for a long time in eternity.
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
Revelation 7:10 shows that every person from every tribe mentions our God. That means he belongs to everyone who calls on his name. As we live and move and see people, let’s treat them with the respect and honor they deserve. After all, when you get to heaven and move into your mansion, they might be your next-door neighbor.
It all comes down to love. If and when we get to the place where we can love our neighbors as ourselves, we will truly be on the way to healing and overcoming racism.
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