Last week we began our conversation by saying that pride can be a tricky thing and prejudice can be an awful thing. We focused our attention on the pride side of the matter and its insidious way of taking over our lives. Now it’s time to talk about prejudice, and this is a hard conversation to have. For most of us, we can observe what we think is prejudice in others. We see a skewed view on some group or approach and we think about how unfortunate it is and wonder why they cannot see a bigger picture. Well, the bigger picture begins with these questions: How prejudiced am I in my view of the world and of others approach? Am I willing and able to recognize prejudice in my own thinking, and when I see it am I willing to attack it with the same passion that I feel about the prejudice of others? Prejudice needs attention and eradication, no matter where it’s found. How do we do that?
To even think about eradicating prejudice is monumental. Prejudice exists and comes to be in so many different ways that it is hard to know where to start. Think about it – we are all born into less than perfect circumstances with less than perfect parents who have had less than perfect experiences in their lives, sometimes due to their own less than perfect parents. The point is that imperfection breeds misunderstanding in our lives about what happens to us. This misunderstanding often breeds a mislabeling of what our experiences or other people actually mean and stand for and this leads us to a confused conclusion about it all. The end result is personal prejudice and this prejudice not only lives in us it ends up being a conclusion that we fight to protect. Kinda scary and kinda confusing, isn’t it?
Ok, now what? Well, I think the best way to understand and combat prejudice is to do two things. First we have to be willing to look inside of ourselves and honestly assess our own thinking, conclusions and positions against true and clear biblical principles of love, mercy, compassion and justice. By making ourselves the focal point of our prejudice investigation we are automatically removing some of our fallen natural propensities to judge – to potentially misjudge others. The second way to combat prejudice is to listen to someone who has fought this battle successfully. This is an enormous step to take because if you find the right example it will bring shivers of inspiration to you. We found such an example.
Our July 24, 2017 podcast, “Can Our Pride Make Us Prejudiced? Part 2” features the detailed story of a young woman who was born into, grew up and embraced the harsh and hateful belief system of the Westboro Baptist Church. In a TED Talk, she detailed her journey from being a five-year-old on a picket line holding a hateful sign that she couldn’t even read to her decision 20 years later to completely walk away. Her story epitomizes the power of true human compassion, and coupled with scriptural principle, it shows us how to stand up and fight against prejudice. You need to hear this. Everyone needs to hear this. Please take the time and then please pass it on!