When charged with being a racist or a bigot, I have never heard someone admit to being a racist. Everyone I have ever heard has stated that they am not a racist. Sadly, however, racism still exists. It is a common problem.
But what about the denial of racism? Being a racist seems dastardly in this country, and it is label that has no gray area. Either you are a racist or you are not, and no one wants to admit that they are one. The problem is much deeper than that, though. Maybe we should ask ourselves questions more along the lines of this: “Do I ever prejudge people based on nationality, race, gender, perceived wealth, or social status?” Do I judge people for things that are beyond their control? To that question, I believe that we would all have to say, “Yes.” If you can reply negatively, anyway, you are a better person than I.
We need to address what kind of people we want to be and what we intend to do when we encounter prejudice in ourselves or others. We can either give into those thoughts or we can fight against them. Despite the protestations of many today, we all have prejudice in our hearts, but we certainly don’t have to be racists or bigots. Prejudice doesn’t have to overrun us and define who we are.
Our desire should be to see people as God sees them, as individuals who are made in the image of God and thus, possess great value (Gen. 1:26-27). God considers a person’s heart, not their appearance (1 Sam. 16:7). This is difficult to do because society intrinsically ranks people and determines some people simply have more value than others. These thoughts so easily enter our hearts. But we must live by a different standard than the world. We must remove the superficial lens of prejudice from our lives. We must have better vision than that!
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream certainly provides a challenge for all of us.
I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
As Christians, we know that there are more important matters than race, social status, and gender. We know that sin does not discriminate; all people are sinners. We also know that we can all be one in Christ (Gal. 3:28). Christians should be leading the way in their rebuke of prejudice, and pointing others to our impartial heavenly Father.