‘God shows no favouritism.’ Acts 10:34 NLT
A lot of us are like the lady in the prayer meeting who said, ‘I always love everyone I see.’ The problem is—she had her eyes closed! Discrimination makes us accept without question the opinions and biases we’ve heard growing up, and the pronouncements of narrow-minded people. Rarely do we stop and ask, ‘Is this right?’ Or more importantly, ‘Is it Christ-like?’ Discrimination relegates people to second-class citizenship because of their colour, gender, economic status, church denomination or the circumstances of their birth. Sometimes our biases are so ingrained that we can’t see them in ourselves and we react in anger when confronted with them. But God doesn’t let us off the hook. Paul challenged Peter, the future head of the church, over the sin of discrimination: ‘He [Peter] used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they [the Jews] arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group.’ (Galatians 2:12 NIV) Paul didn’t give Peter a free pass because he had other redeeming qualities. No, his behaviour was hurting people and reflecting badly on the church. The most quoted text in the Bible is: ‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16 NKJV) Note the words ‘whoever believes’. That means we’re all equal at the foot of the cross. There God makes no distinctions. And before you can deal with the prejudice in someone else’s life, you’ve first got to deal with it in your own. So acknowledge your hidden biases and deal with them.