A few weeks ago I spoke at a Women’s Conference at a University here in my home state. My topic was “God’s Plan For Racial Harmony”. Initially, I was excited to do this, and then at some point in my time of preparation, God made it very clear to me, that even though I was passionate about doing this, I had an awesome responsibility to get this right. It was by no means to be a political speech but a Biblical one.
I was also excited that this was going to be discussed on a college campus. With all of the divisiveness going on in our country these days, I thought having this conversation would be healing for some and informative for others.
Though excited it saddened me, that we are still needing to have this conversation in our country. The reality is that we have definitely made progress In this area, but our hearts still need to be pricked and opened more to see and accept others as God does. The reality also, is that we are on a journey to be more like Him and God is love. We are to love everyone, not just those that look like us, or that we are comfortable being around, but everyone. Maybe it’s time to give yourself a heart check. Only God can give us the ability to love as He does, and that is totally unconditional. With His help and His help alone, we really can achieve this capacity to love others as He does.
To help you start your journey of living a life in Racial Harmony and loving others as Christ does, I have I shared a few of my notes from this speech. I hope that they will enlighten some of you and remind others of you what God’s word says about how we should treat one another, no matter the color of our skin. You may know individuals that struggle with this terrible sin called racism, and if so, I would love for you to encourage them to read this also.
I. What Does Living In Racial Harmony Mean?
To live in harmony is to live, working peacefully together. It means we are living peacefully, instead of living at odds or in conflict with one another.
14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity!
14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.
16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
2. To Live In Racial Harmony We Have To Recognize That There Is Only One Race.
Genesis 1:26-27 (NLT)
26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings[a] in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth,[b] and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”27 So God created human beings[c] in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Acts 17: 26-28
26 From one man[a] he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.27 “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. 28 For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your[b] own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’
There is only one race, however, there are several ethnicities within this one race, such as Africans, Asians, Caucasians, Latinos, Indians, Arabs, Jews, etc.
Ethnicity is generally made up of cultural traditions and behaviors as well as beliefs that are common to a specific group.
3. God Does Not Show Partiality, So Neither Should We
God’s plan for racial harmony was revealed through His sacrificial death on the cross. God desires unity among His children.
Ephesians 2:14-22 (NLT)
14 For Christ, himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. 15 He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. 16 Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.
17 He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. 18 Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.19 So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. 20 Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. 21 We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. 22 Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.
17 “For the Lord, your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed. 18 He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing. 19 So you, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.
34 Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. 35 In every nation, he accepts those who fear him and do what is right. 36 This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. As children of God we all share the same DNA, therefore spiritually speaking we are all saved by one bloodline and that’s the blood of Jesus Christ. Physically speaking we are all connected through one bloodline also and that’s the bloodline of Adam and Eve. We are connected physically and spiritually.
- 10 Things We Must Do to Live In Racial Harmony With One Another
1). We must acknowledge that racism is a sin. The reason racism is a sin is that showing partiality is a sin.
My dear brothers and sisters,[a] how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?
James 2: 9
9 But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law.
12 So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free. 13 There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.
2). Our hearts and minds must change.
2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. If you have been programmed to think stereotypical thoughts of others or to think biased towards others, you must transform your thoughts with the word of God, and then your heart will change also. Ask God to create in you a clean heart and He will.
3). We must exemplify Golden Rule Living
12 “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
Simply treat others the way you would want them to treat you if the situation or circumstance were reversed.
4). We must see others through the eyes of Christ. God sees value in every human life and we must do the same.
8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners remember that in God’s eyes we all have value. The same blood that was shed for your redemption was shed for mine. We all have purpose, gifts, and talents. Let’s also see the value in our differences and celebrate how God has uniquely created each of us.
5). We must respect everyone no matter their race or color.
1st Peter 2:16-17 (NLT)
16 For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. 17 Respect everyone, and love the family of believers.[a] Fear God, and respect the king.
Every human being on the planet desires to be loved first, and secondly to be respected. When we respect someone we are saying that they matter. It is a validation of their worth.
6). We must show compassion to all humanity not just to those who look like you.
30 Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.31 “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. 32 A Temple assistant[a] walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.33 “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. 34 Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins,[b] telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy. ”Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.
”7). We should share each other’s burdens. By willing to help by giving to, and sharing with those in need, no matter who they are.
2. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.
8). Communication is key! — Start the conversation, learn about other cultures. Educate yourself. Validate and affirm those who need it. Be just as willing to listen and consider another point of view.
19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.
29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. We must listen to start the process of understanding each other as well as to start the healing process in our country. One of the reasons that our country is still so racially divided is because everyone is talking and giving their point of view, yet no one is listening.
“People fail to get along because they fear each other, they fear each other because they don’t know each other, and they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
9). Women, you have the power to change the world right at your kitchen table, with the conversation you have with your husbands and children. When you hear things that are racially biased or outright wrong Speak Up! Teach your family what is right, don’t just turn your head as though you don’t hear the conversation. Many of the issues that are causing societal problems can be resolved right at home. Remember, when you know what to do and you don’t do it, you will be held accountable before God. “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetuate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Proverbs 31: 11
Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.
26 When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.
10). Love the way Christ loved.
15 But you, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.
1st Corinthians 13:4-84
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.8 Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages[a] and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Christ was compassionate, loving, gentle, patient, merciful, forgiving, generous, and gracious. Most importantly He was obedient to the will of His Father.
“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” “ I have decided to stick with love-hate is too great a burden to bear.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Definitions Of Key Words Regarding Racism
Justice- Just behavior or treatment. The quality of being fair and reasonable in treatment to others.
17 Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans.
Fight for the rights of widows.
Proverbs 31: 8-9
8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.
9 Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.
Injustice – Lack of fairness or justice in the way we treat others.
Leviticus 19: 15
15 “Do not twist justice in legal matters by favoring the poor or being partial to the rich and powerful. Always judge people fairly.
Racism- Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior. The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.
Racist– A person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another.
Systemic Racism or Institutional Racism– is a form of racism expressed in the practice of social and political institutions. It is reflected in disparities regarding wealth, income, criminal justice, employment, housing, health care, political power, and education, among other factors. (Wikipedia)
Bigotry– intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.
Discrimination– The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.
Segregation– The action or state of setting someone or something apart from other people or things or being set apart.
Oppression– Prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or control.
Slavery- a condition compared to that of a slave in respect of exhausting labor or restricted freedom. A system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. A slave is unable to withdraw unilaterally from such an arrangement and works without remuneration.
Supremacist– An advocate of the supremacy of a particular group, especially one determined by race or sex.
White Privilege– is the social privilege that benefits people whom society identifies as white in some countries, beyond what is commonly experienced by non-white people under the same social, political, or economic circumstances.
Hate Crimes- A crime, typically one involving violence that is motivated by prejudice on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, or other grounds.