I'm not racist, I swear! T.H.R.I.V.E., #38
Huddle up, Team . . . time to strategize before the game.
My charge to you is that you would huddle up each morning with the best Coach ever.
As you pull in, arms around the shoulders of fellow believers around the world: “God, what is on your heart today as you consider your children?
What are you feeling? I realize that what is happening now is one instant in time for you - specifically as you look down at the racial unrest… you see time in all one piece. What are you thinking?” Praying, I wrote the question in my trusty Moleskine journal this morning and sat still.
I felt like God said, ‘this is nothing new - this striving against one another - racism is born out of pride, born out of self-importance. Think how long ago all that started.’
It started when sin entered the world. The first sin was of pride - when man thought he knew better than God; every sin since can trace its origin back to that day. Then the first children were born--Cain and Abel. Remember that because of jealousy, Cain killed Abel, (recorded in the fourth chapter of Genesis). This insidious self-centeredness, this ingrained notion of competitive pride and vanity is a condition of living in a broken world. It started long before slavery in America, Catholics and Protestants fighting in Ireland, and the hatred of the Jews and the Arabs. It’s ugly.
‘But I’m not racist!’ you say, brushing the lint off your shoulder, the log out of your eye.
No, of course not, you would not be an enlightened individual if you were racist! You would not see what God sees, that all were created in his image, Genesis 1.26-27.
But let me ask you this:
Are you ever guilty of comparing yourself to another in order to feel better?
Do you judge the very overweight individual as weaker than yourself?
Are you ever so preoccupied with yourself that you cannot get out of your own way?
‘I can’t believe I’m being inconvenienced like this!’ you storm.
‘Why is she so clueless as to say something like that to me?’
‘Why is that kid always in trouble? Must be bad parenting.’
Do you cast judgment on someone who has an addiction, while not having
any idea what they have endured?
I mean, ‘I know I’m not perfect, but at least I don’t do _____’
‘Those homeless people . . . they must have made a lot of bad choices..’
Have you thought any of these things?
Friend, our systemic problem is far greater than racism, it is
- one human being thinking wrong, valuing himself more highly than another -
But Paul wrote,
‘Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit,
but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
Let each of you look not only to his own interests,
but also to the interests of others.’1
and then he says this super significant thing:
‘have this attitude in yourself
that was also in Christ Jesus’2 . . .
Jesus emptied himself,
gave himself up for us to die a criminal’s death on the cross~
the most horrific, painful method of death.
How to begin on that road to humility:
Let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak . . .3
Huddle up, everyone. Remember that we were all - every race, every color -
created in the image of God; the ground is level at the foot of the cross.
And our strategy? Let’s listen - and listen well - before we speak.
O, and one more thing: Let’s love each other because love is from God.4
because love is always the answer,
1 - Philippians 2.3
2 - Philippians 2.5
3 - James 1.19
4 - 1 John 4.7