A mother has lost her young son. Forever. She will never hug or kiss him again.
Another mother fears for her son's life.
And it has caused Americans all over the country great heartache and concern regarding longstanding prejudices against people simply for the color of their skin.
Regardless of one's opinion of the verdict itself, we cannot ignore the reality that prejudices absolutely exist in this world. And, I believe, that as a follower of Jesus it is my duty to examine my own heart for prejudices.
For, Jesus came and "died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him.." [2 Corinthians 5:15]
ALL are one in Christ Jesus and belong to Him. There are no dividing differences: "neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female." [Galatians 3:28]
And Jesus is the face of the Father's love for the whole world. [John 3:16]
Thus any prejudices that draw divisions in my heart regarding any of God's children, must be honestly examined, confessed, and transformed into His Face of Love.
I spent a great deal of time this past week examining my own heart. Asking God to expose those dark areas of prejudice.
Scripture encourages us to do this.
"Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves." [2 Corinthians 13:5]
Many of us are familiar with the Scripture in 1 Corinthians 11 where we are taught to first, "examine" ourselves for sin before taking communion.
Mine became like the prayer of Job 13:23 where he says to the Lord, "How many are my iniquities and my sins? Make me know my transgression and my sin."
The solution to the very real problem of prejudice is LOVE. And not just any love, but the unconditional love of Jesus.
As I've thought about Trayvon Martin & George Zimmerman and as I've examined my own heart for prejudice, I have been drawn to Romans 12 where I get a clear picture of how The Lord wants to transform my face into His love for ALL people.
Starting in verse 9 it reads,
Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality. Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody. Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.” Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.
Friends, our children are growing up in a world where prejudices exist. But my prayer is that they will continually examine their own hearts for prejudices AND that they can be the Face of Love to the world around them by seeing all people as God's dearly loved.
Join me in prayer through song and word:
Would you protect my children's hearts from prejudice? I pray they would run from this evil and cling to what is good. May the evils of prejudice never get the best of them, rather may they get the best of this evil by doing good to all people, regardless of race. I pray they would regularly examine their own hearts and as they do, would you make them know their transgression and sin. And may they be the face of Your love to the world around them; a love that is sincere, unconditional, and full of grace.