It’s all over…our nation has erupted into a racial divide…probably the most unrest that we’ve seen in our lifetime. So many people are searching for a solution and many others are simply unaware of what they can possibly do. I don’t honestly know if there’s anything that we can do to bring the immediate change that we’d like to see, but we can definitely begin to plant the seeds of change for our children, grandchildren, and future generations.
Many people say, “If you’re not a part of the solution you’re a part of the problem?” But as you’re reading this you’re probably wondering “What can an average person like me possibly do to drive change concerning racism?” Well, you can do probably more than you think and if everyone were committed to doing their part, we’ll all see the progress that we’re looking for. As the old joke goes, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!”
So, where do we start? First, we start by ensuring that we hold to the truth of God’s Word concerning who we are and how we are to treat one another. You can’t be in authentic relationship with God the Father if you’re not in authentic relationship with His children. We must undoubtedly know and embrace the fact that God does not show favoritism (Acts 10:34).
Authentic relationships with people of various ethnicities helps foster deeper understandings, eliminates stereotypes, and broadens our knowledge of others. Relationships teach us to cast down our differences and recognize our commonalities; we grow personally as we connect and engage with others whose lives and perspectives may differ from our own. Let’s not be afraid of that which is different.
We must intentionally seek to grow our sphere of relationships and influences, especially with those of different ethnicities. Have you noticed that the birth of the church in the book of Acts contained a diverse group of people from sixteen different cultures? I don’t think God did that by accident, He’s modeling for us what and how we should be today.
Secondly, we must oppose racism openly. We must be adamant about ensuring the everyone knows the sin and danger surrounding racism. This is not the time to keep silent or be neutral, but rather an opportunity to spread a truth that many are hesitant to talk about. If we don’t stand for something, we’ll fall for anything.
Thirdly, we must declare that racism is a sin from the pulpits of our churches. Pastors and ministry leaders are obligated to preach and teach the truth about the sin of racism. We must also prepare our future Pastors…those in seminary and Bible College, to build and lead multi-ethnic churches. Let us halt the planting of churches that seek to reach one specific ethnicity, and focus on planting churches solely on the truth of scriptures as we’re led by the Spirit of God.
Fourthly, we must teach and train our children to abhor prejudices and racism. We have an obligation to instruct and guide our future generations in the truths of scripture. We may not be able to change the past, but we can surely shape the future by ensuring that our children are rooted in truth and equality for all.
And lastly, but surely not the least, we must continue to pray. I know, that sounds like the ‘standard answer’ for everything…just pray. But it is an answer, and a very powerful one. Racism is a spiritual problem, and we can’t fight spiritual problems with natural weapons. If we’re going to overcome racism, we need to use the prevailing weapons given to us by God, and that’s prayer.
Can I challenge you? Starting immediately, commit to stepping out of your comfort zone and engage someone of a different ethnicity. Or, maybe join a church with people who don’t all look like yourself. This is much more than just a ‘hello’ in passing or a visitation, but rather an attempt to establish deep authentic relationships with others.
This is a good start for those who don’t know where to begin. Maybe God has placed something else in addition to this in your heart, then do it. Let’s work together and trust the Lord for a better future for the generations to come. Be healthy, stay safe, and be blessed!
By Rick Wood, Pastor, Pursuit Christian Fellowship