With racial tensions rising what’s our responsibility?
As racial tensions rise across the U.S. how can we as Christian’s assist in breaking down the racial divide? As I travel the U.S. as founder of Change Into Colorless and have been to Ferguson three times, the one common factor I find is people think racism isn’t their problem. There seems to be a denial that racism exists and that people, normal people like you and I, can make a difference. Racism issues have been simply ignored because, “It is not my issue.” If it’s not our issue than whose issue is it?
Racism is our problem. It is everyone’s problem when our brother and sisters in Christ are being hurt, abused, defiled and treated unfairly, and I am not simply talking about what is going on right now around the U.S. Our brothers in sisters in Christ everyday are being treated unfairly. It is not just a black and white issue. There are Hispanics, Cubans, Italians, and other races being treated unfairly. Comments such as, “Why don’t you go back to your own country until you learn to speak English,” or “You are taking away jobs from Americans,” are signs that racism still exists. Hispanics can be racist against African Americans and vice versa and even African Americans and Hispanics are racist within their own ethnicity.
It seems we are willing to take a stand as Christians when unborn children are being killed every day in abortion clinics. People have their opinions and biblical beliefs on homosexuality (whether biblical or not) they state from pulpits, social media pages and so forth. However, when the topic of racism comes up it seems as though all gets quiet. I can’t count the number of times I have posted on social media about racism issues and don’t get any comments or responses. Racism seems to get ignored and swept under the rug, which could be why we have the challenges we are encountering today.
Scripture clearly tells us to love and live in unity!
- 1 Cor. 1:10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
- 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
- 2:8-9 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
- 1 Jn. 2:9-11 He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
- Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
- Act 17:26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth.
Racism isn’t a black and white issue, it is a people issue and it’s an issue that involves all races, all cultures, and all people. Ask yourself, “Am I willing to assist in the fight against racism or am I myself racist?” One of the ways people have become racist is due to emotional wounds that have not been healed. Judgment and criticism build up and past hurts and wounds against an ethnicity have not been healed. People who have been hurt or ridiculed as a child, teenagers who have been abused by a gang or different racial group than themselves and women and girls who have been raped by a person of another race all need healing. Racism partially exists because we have had conflict in our life with a person or group of another race. Instead of searching for the healing we need to overcome those issues we form bitterness, resentment and other unhealthy emotions towards people of different ethnicities.
Racism is taught. We have been taught racism by our cultural, economic status, region we live in, people of influence in our lives and our parents. However, just as generational curses can be broken off of our life, so can racism. Our first step is to acknowledge we have been racist, repent and ask the Lord to forgive us and move forward in love. God is a God of love and He has called us to love all people. He created all man in His image. “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them,” (Gen. 1:27).
What if education on racial issues was made available in our communities and churches? What if we taught about diversity, unity and love? If we would continue the fight against racism that started years ago we could lessen the effects of New York, Ferguson and Baltimore. What if people cared in advance and made racism their issue so that racial tensions would break down in their community, so that if instances did happen between races they were prepared and already in unity?
We can do our own individual parts if nothing else. Change your behavior patterns and habits by not hanging onto your purse or belongings if you see a person of a different race come into your immediate area. When in an elevator instead of being uncomfortable when a person of another race enters, say hi and be nice. When out in public be friendly, don’t avoid a cashier line, salesperson or service personnel because they are another race. Embrace diversity. Embrace who they are as an individual and don’t group them into the same category as someone in that race who you may have encountered challenges with.
Pray to end racism and bring forth unity. When discussions come up present yourself as an ambassador of Christ and make sure the words out of your mouth are edifying and not racist in nature. Inform your children about diversity and multi-culturalism, expose them to different ethnic groups and encourage them to be friends within their own race and other races. Encourage them there are no limits when it comes to race on who they can be friends with and model the example yourself for them. Watch the words that come out of your mouth as a parent, leader in your community and follower in Christ. Search yourself for any hurts or wounds and seek out healing. Root out and gut out any and all racism that may be inside of you.
When we get to heaven; these flesh suits we live in will be no longer. No race marked by outside pigments of our skin and the culture we came from. It will be spirit man with spirit man. No racism, all of us having changed into colorless. In the Lord’s Prayer it says, “On earth as it is in heaven.” Why don’t we do our part to help heaven manifest on earth when it comes to the fight against racism?
Kathy DeGraw is the founder of DeGraw Ministries, (www.degrawministries.org) and Change into Colorless (a ministry to bridge the divide of racism.) She is a prophetic deliverance minister who is passionate about releasing the love and power of God. She travels hosting conferences, teaching schools and evangelistic love tours. Kathy enjoys empowering and equipping people through writing and is the author of 5 books.