Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. – 1 Peter 3:8

Relinquishing Prejudice

Have you allowed your upbringing or experiences to prejudice you against a particular group of people? Women? Men? The poor? The rich? Asians? Jews? Black or White?

Prejudice leads to hatred and a lack of compassion toward others.  To the contrary, God’s people are to be known for their love and compassion. Surrendering your life to God means recognizing and relinquishing your prejudices.

Take a look at the Old Testament figure, Jonah. He hated the people of Nineveh for their cruelty toward his people, the Israelites. He would’ve loved to have gone to Nineveh and declare God’s judgment against them. But God told Jonah to go and warn them of destruction so they might avert God’s wrath. Jonah wanted no part in this mission of mercy. He tried to run away, but God placed him in difficult circumstances. When he reluctantly obeyed and preached to the Ninevites, they changed their ways. And not surprisingly, Jonah was upset at God’s mercy on the Ninevites.

God practically had to force Jonah to let go of his prejudice and hatred. This was necessary so he could share God’s mercy with the people he hated. Your spiritual transformation will be stunted until you let go of your prejudices toward any people group. Seeing your own prejudices doesn’t come easy. You need to ask God and those close to you to help you see areas of prejudice in your life. Once you see them, confess them and ask God to change your heart.

– Steve Arterburn

We allow our ignorance to prevail upon us and make us think we can survive alone, alone in patches, alone in groups, alone in races, even alone in genders. – Maya Angelo

Prejudice is a product of ignorance that hides behind barriers of tradition. – Jasper Fforde