Home > discrimination, prejudice, stereotypes > No Pride and a Lot of Prejudice

No Pride and a Lot of Prejudice

James 2:1-4 (NLT)

My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim that you have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people more than others? For instance, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in shabby clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”–well, doesn’t this discrimination show that you are guided by wrong motives?

I have always been interested in the topic of social equality. It is amazing that people can be so cruel to each other because of skin color, socioeconomic status, etc. I know that my parents never taught me to hate anyone and I am proud of that fact. Our family today is a product of that: my wife is Caucasian, I have a sister-in-law from Puerto Rico, and one from Africa. Our family get togethers are always interesting. I feel that our diversity is a blessing and am glad that we all accept each other despite our many differences.

I presented a lesson on the above scripture that I would like to share here today. First I want to define a few terms.

1. Prejudice – Evaluation of a group and its members.
– Unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or
without knowledge, thought, or reason.
2. Discrimination – Behavior based on other’s membership in a social group.
3. Stereotype – Beliefs about a social group and its members.

There are several ways that we can show prejudice:
– Disability
– Racial/Ethnic
– Ageism
– Sexual Orientation
– Socioeconomic
– Marital Status (Divorced, Single, Interracial)
– Weight

I could add more to the list above, but I think you get my point.

James was saying that it is sinful to make superficial judgments concerning others. I wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that we are ‘made in the image of God’ (Genesis 1:27). This tells us that everyone regardless of what they look and act like are created in His image. If we begin to see people that way then maybe we can get rid of some of the prejudices that we hold on to. I am also reminded of 1 Samuel 16:7 where it tells us that God looks at our hearts and not our outside appearance. If we could only see ourselves as God sees us then we could start the process of healing. We have beat each other up and discriminated so much that it has become a normal part of our society. I pray that each of us will begin to look at ourselves and be honest about our prejudices and those we discriminate against. This realization and acceptance of our problem is the first step in recovery. God bless.

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  1. JimmyBob
    October 3, 2006 at 4:32 am

    Great message Mike! If only we would learn how to love one another. I have messed up so bad in the past and God has forgiven me. Why do I hold things against others? I shouldn’t. I can’t.

    God help us all to live beyond our prejudices. We need the Holy Spirit to “fix” our minds from all the psychological damage we have taken since birth. Help us not to pass the corruption along.

  2. Christopher Gallagher (aka - Gallagher)
    October 3, 2006 at 7:11 pm

    Mike,

    Great post and great words. The lack of love we have all experienced should propel us to greater love for each other!

    Keep up the great work!

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