Removing the Barriers
"If indeed you [really] fulfill the royal Law in accordance with the Scripture, You shall love your neighbor as [you love] yourself, you do well. But if you show servile regard (prejudice, favoritism) for people, you commit sin and are rebuked and convicted by the Law as violators and offenders." James 2:8-9 AMP
Thoughts for Today
Most of us tend to prejudge people on the basis of how they dress, what their family members are like, stereotypes built by the media of particular ethnic groups, and on many other superficial and erroneous grounds.
There is a danger in rejecting or misjudging someone because they are different from us. First of all, the Bible tells us that prejudice is a sin, one that blocks our ability to love others as we should.
We could even miss a blessing from God by rejecting strangers due to prejudice. This was the mistake that the people of Jesus' time on earth made when they rejected him as the promised Messiah and King. Because Jesus did not come in the way they expected, they crucified him.
We can also miss an opportunity to bless others—maybe even an opportunity to help them find Jesus—when we allow these invisible walls of prejudice—even subtle ones—to build.
Ask God to help you see the walls you have built and to begin removing those barriers between you and others. Ask him to help you begin to look on the inside and see people as he does. Only then can the love of Jesus flow freely through you to everyone he brings your way.
Father, I do want the love of Jesus to flow freely through me to every person. Forgive me for sometimes blocking this flow by judging others by outward appearances. Help me see each individual as you do and respond to them with your love. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from…
One Nation Under God: Toward Race Reconciliation by Donna Saunders, Ph.D. and Jean Leak, MS, RN. This study discusses barriers between people and shows how to make Christ visible through love in action. This guide also offers the way to strengthen and bond relationships. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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