Our Path as Christians to Racial Equality
Where We Are
The way our brains are designed, we are wired to negatively respond to images that we find negative. The source of that negativity can be real or perceived. Unfortunately, the widespread images of black people in America have been portrayed in ways to make blacks be collectively perceived negatively to others, particularly as threatening and inferior. The history of how blacks arrived in this country makes the path to how these labels were established easy to understand, even if they are generally untrue.
Additionally, these stereotypes have been perpetrated throughout generations, continuing the cycle of racial inequality. This does not mean there are not some black people that do things that may give some people credence to their opinions. It does means that the inherent general negative response to black people sets blacks up in the negative and not on neutral (equal) ground as individuals, impacting all areas of life. And, no matter what your opinion, no person is inferior to another person!
What God’s Word Says About All People
We must look at each other the way God looks at us! Here is God’s Word:
• We are all created in the image of God! “So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27 NLT
• We are all fearfully and wonderfully made! “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.” Psalm 139:13-14 NLT
God’s Word is the truth. “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1 NLT
Are your thoughts contrary to God’s Word?
How to Move Forward
To achieve racial equality, we must make a concerted effort to change the perception of blacks in America. We all have to honor one another! Here is what Jesus has said, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40 NLT
The basic Golden Rule to treat others the way we want to be treated. This will require a literal changing of minds; not just what others think of black people, but also what we black people think of ourselves! The trauma has been so great for so long that we may have allowed these untruths to seep into our spirits.
What we each can do is the following:
• Pray for God’s help and direction. Praise God for what He has done in your life. This will remind you how big, great and powerful your God is. Ask Him to put upon your heart what He wants you to do as an individual and with the unique talents He has given to you to honor the other people He has created and commanded you to love. This problem is so significant that we will need the dunamis power of the Holy Spirit. We must believe we possess power that strong, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, within us and petition God through prayer so He may direct us on what we need to do to accomplish racial equality. He will makes ways that we cannot make without Him!
• Care, even if it’s not affecting you. Observe what is happening to people beyond you and your immediate family. During your prayer, ask God to direct you in your understanding; in His timing, He will help with this. Talk to friends different from you about their viewpoints for understanding, not to sell your opinion. If you don’t have friends different from you, this would be an opportune time of self-examination of why this is the case.
• Act with your talents. The only way to overcome racial injustice and achieve racial equality is with an abundance of love! You show that love by utilizing the talents and blessings God has given you for good. The steps above will guide you, as only God knows what’s best for us all to contribute in our own way. Some examples that came to my mind:
o Use your influence for good. There are a lot of you that are connected to people that make decisions, whether in business or Government. Stand up when biases are perpetuated. Silence is compliance.
o Invest in organizations established to make a difference in the area God has directed you. This can be your time, wisdom through mentorship, money, etc. If this pause due to COVID-19 teaches us anything, it should be that most things can stop in an instant. Invest your time wisely. Do all that God has asked you to do, not less.
o Stop making assumptions! Seek the truth! This will require you to interact with God and people different from you. If you are simply drawing conclusions from the media (especially if your sources consistently resonate with your opinion) and others like you, you may be exposing yourself to be part of the problem and not the solution.
Let’s Do This, God’s Way!
This will be a process! Unless God has a miracle in store to suddenly eradicate racial inequality, it will take time to reverse the course after centuries! We must be gracious with each other as we travel this path. Some people may not have acted in the past because they were fearful of doing something wrong in the process. We must educate each other in love!
I am hopeful we can do this, together, and pledge to do all that God has asked me to do. Will you join me?