What is the Biblical response to racism?
“Racism and injustice and violence sweep our world, bringing a tragic harvest of heartache and death.“Rev. Billy Graham
We live in a broken and messy world which is full of sinful people. One of the sins that is committed is racism. It breaks my heart to see the world struggle to accept racial differences. It’s unacceptable that one race should even think they are more superior than another.
As believers of Jesus Christ, what role can we play in the fight against this terrible sin? Is there a biblical response to racism that we should be aware of? The word of God guides us in addressing this important issue.
What is the Biblical response to racism?
1. Ask the Lord to search your heart
“Search me, O God, and know my heart;Psalm 139:23-24
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.“
The first way we can respond to racism as Christians is to examine our hearts.
How does your heart really see people of a different race from you? Have you ever made assumptions about a person’s character or behavior based on their race?
Pray about it and ask God to reveal any prejudice you may have. Ask God to forgive you and help you see people as He sees them. He is the Creator of all mankind.
2. Start in the home
After doing a personal evaluation of our heart conditions towards racial differences, we then need to really analyze our homes and how we’re dealing with this subject.
My 5-year-old daughter has both white and brown dolls. We’ve done this consciously to teach her that there are different races in this world and she should accept them all as they are. We’ve all been made in the image of God.
Education of racial differences and acceptance starts in the home with us as parents passing it on to our children. The world including the news, political leaders and even friends expose our children to so many viewpoints. We need to help them process all that they hear and see and teach them the right way.
3. Pray for Racial Reconciliation
We are privileged to have access to God through prayer. So we need to pray for racial reconciliation and for peace to prevail.
There’s a great promise in God’s word. One day in heaven racial reconciliation will happen but we need to pray as well to start experiencing it right here, right now.
“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!“”Revelation 7:9-10
4. Practice the ministry of reconciliation
“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,”2 Corinthians 5:18
God is in the business of reconciliation. He has reconciled us to Himself through His Son Jesus Christ and we have also been given the ministry of reconciliation to unite others with Him.
Accept this ministry as an ambassador of Christ and take steps to unite rather than divide across racial lines.
5. Don’t ignore justice
In Matthew 23 Jesus was rebuking the teachers of the law at the time that is the Pharisees and Scribes about their conduct and hypocrisy.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.“Matthew 23:23
The teachers were focusing on tithing and finances but not concerning themselves with the matters of the people. They didn’t have the people at heart.
Focusing on justice, mercy and faith is a biblical response to racism. These are the weightier matters Jesus spoke about. And as His children we should have the same concerns. Seeking justice is NOT a sin.
6. Weep with those who weep
Romans 12:15 encourages us to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. When others are hurting as believers we ought to show empathy and compassion.
We are the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. And if Jesus wept when he felt pain we can do the same.
7. Love justice like God
Did you know that God loves justice? Yes, He does. He hates when people are treated unfairly. As His children, we love what He loves and hate what He hates.
“He loves righteousness and justice;Psalm 33:5
The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.“
In one breath God wants us to be righteous AND practice justice. It’s important to God that people are treated justly.
8. Choose to be The Good Samaritan
The parable of the Good Samaritan which can be found in Luke 10:25-37 is a powerful one. A lawyer was testing Jesus on the question of “who really is our neighbor?” since the Bible says we need to love our neighbors as ourselves. That’s when Jesus told him the Parable of the Good Samaritan.
A man was robbed and wounded and lying half dead by the side of the road. A priest and Levite passed him. Can you imagine that? Men of the cloth, leaders of faith passed by a hurt man.
I have a picture of them rushing off to the temple to pray or preach yet not practicing what they preach.It was the Good Samaritan who wasn’t even a Christian who helped the half dead man.
We can’t leave people who are hurting while we go on with our busy lives. We need to offer a helping hand. That’s what is important.
Practicing the word of God by doing good works and having faith is required of us. Because faith without works is-dead. Loving our neighbors is a great biblical response to racism.
9. Live in Peace with others
“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord“Hebrews 12:14
In a world full of strife, chaos and hatred, we are called to pursue peace. We serve the Prince of Peace Himself Jesus Christ.
Spread the message of peace across different races in your family, community, church and on social media. That’s how you respond to racism as a believer.
10. Love like Jesus
Here is the thing about Jesus. He loved those who were marginalized, those who were looked down upon by society and despised.
He ate in the home of a tax collector, he touched individuals with diseases that made them outcasts like leprosy and flow of blood and healed them. Jesus spoke to a Samaritan a woman and He didn’t condemn a prostitute among many other things He did.
We imitate Jesus by loving those whom the world expects us to hate. This applies to all races. We’re taught hate and revenge. But with Jesus, we can practice love. This post has other practical and powerful ways to love like Jesus.
11. Stand with the Power of the Cross to unite
Ephesians 2:12-16 speaks about the power of the Cross and the death of Jesus Christ to unite. Those who were circumcised and uncircumcised, Gentiles and Jews- all have become one.
“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,“Ephesians 12:14
As Jesus’ disciples we stand with the power of the Cross to continue to unite those who are separated across racial lines.
12. Acknowledge the Ultimate Healer of broken hearts
Racism breaks bodies, hearts and souls. But here’s the thing that I know for sure: Humans have no power to totally heal other humans. It’s. Just. Not. Possible.
We need to ask God to heal people whose hearts are broken because of racism. For God to mend and heal them. He is Ultimately the one with all the power.
My Encouragement to you
We live in a world of sin and racism is one of them. As children of God this is not something we can ignore because we are ambassadors of Christ. So, we’re called to respond as Jesus would respond. We’re called to practice our faith and do good works to help in whatever way we can.
Lord we thank you for making us in your own image and making us different. Teach us to accept each other as we are and to love like you Jesus. Help me to know how best I can respond to racial differences in my family, church and community.
In Jesus name I pray, amen.