PREJUDICE

Others were saying, “This is the Christ.”  Still others were saying “Surely the Christ is not going to come from Galilee, is He?  John 7:41 NASB

 

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There is a prejudice against Pit Bulls in our society.  It used to be Doberman’s and Rottweiler’s and I believe fear of these breeds still exists, too.  A ban on Pit Bulls has been put in place in some areas.  There is a stigma surrounding this breed.  A stigma means a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.

There are some Pit Bulls that you should be on guard with and others that are sweeter than the sweetest breeds.  I had a Doberman named Fritz that cried as the cat slapped him and a Chihuahua that bit your ankles while you were watching out for Fritz.  You can’t judge a breed by its name.  Each individual dog is different.

People hold prejudices against many things.  I was in a church service once and the preacher asked what prejudices we held.  I couldn’t think of anything to share.  The gentleman beside me was on oxygen and confessed that he was prejudiced against smokers.  That comment opened my mind up to look a little deeper to see what prejudices were lurking in my heart.

A prejudice is a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.  Most of us are not lacking in opinions but on what do we base our opinions?

In our scripture today, no one thought it possible that the Son of God could come from Galilee.  When Philip told Nathanael about Jesus, Nathanael asked if anything good could come out of Nazareth?  Obviously, Jesus’ roots were not too impressive to most people.  His birthplace carried a stigma.

Jesus tells the story of the Pharisee who prays in Luke 18:11.  He prays loudly, thanking God that he is not like other people.  He then lists swindlers, unjust, adulterers, and tax collectors.  Jesus himself was criticized for eating with tax collectors and sinners.  Not too much has changed in 2000 years.  We all hold certain opinions and prejudices if we look deep into our hearts and are honest.

The Declaration of Independence for the United States of America states, “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness…”  Genesis 1:27 tells us, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”  If all are created in God’s image, we are all on equal footing.

Is there anything causing you to disparage someone because of preconceived notions?  If you are like me you might have to look deep in your heart and ask God to reveal your prejudices.  A certain sex, race, political party or occupations can all hold stigmas.  I’ve met preachers who won’t perform services with someone from a different denomination.  You can probably name many more things that are causing dissension in our world today.

We are all created equal.  We are all created in God’s image.  We are all sinners who need a savior.  God grants us grace.  Let us grant his grace to others.

 

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