Racism is real. And it exists right here in the United States, the nation founded on the principle that all men are created equal. We have had compelling evidence for a long time of that, with policeman being killed, congressmen being shot, terrorist attacks, racial profiling, and now the most recent tragedy in Charlottesville.
One of the great evidences of our racism is that we get most enraged and disgusted when the attack is on one of "ours." We find mitigating and excusing circumstances for the behavior of one of OUR people, but move to swift and blanket condemnation when it's the other side. We don't want to call what we feel – racism.
The fact is, racism is real. It's not a difference of opinion. It is sin. It's not OK. Sometimes it is blatantly diabolical and evil. It is screamed and shouted and displayed with despicable acts. Sometimes it is subtle, with innuendoes, prejudicial practices, and pretend ignorance. But it is never simple misunderstanding, never just political, or cultural. It is a sin. The silence of Christians, and frankly, the silence of simply decent people, is not an option.
The only hope for us is to do as Christ did. He left His privilege and deliberately came to this earth to look at life through our eyes. We must be willing to intentionally and purposefully put aside our prejudices, our biases, our preconceived notions, to look at life from the perspective of others who are totally different from us. We must be willing to learn wisdom and compassion, and then put them into practical action.
Scripture tells us that God, for Christ's sake, loved us, even when we were far from lovable. Even though we were different from Him in every way imaginable. He actually was even willing to give His life for us when we were angry, distant, and rejecting Him.
When we follow in His footsteps, we make a deliberate choice, for Christ's sake, to love people and extend grace to them, even when we frankly see little to love. We treat them with compassion, and courageously stand against everything that would attack them. Would you make a commitment to live like that?
It is my prayer that each of us will pray for the victims of racism and the perpetrators of this terrible sin. I pray that we will cooperate with God to have every tendency to belittle and minimize people eradicated from our lives as we grow with Him. I pray that we will admit our prejudices, own them as sin when we see them, and that we will repent and change.
My friends, think before you speak. Pray before you speak. But then speak. Speak words of love and grace and truth. May our lives be a witness to the God who created us all and loves us all.