PREJUDICE

 

DEFINITION:  Prejudice is an unfavorable opinion formed on the basis of  insufficient knowledge, inaccurate stereotypes, or irrational feelings.  It is an unfounded hatred, fear, or mistrust of a person or group based on race, nationality, religious, or social status.

FACTS ABOUT PREJUDICE:

Prejudice can take many forms.  It may appear in how one talks–through slander, criticism, innuendos, or inappropriate racial jokes.  It may also affects one’s actions through discrimination, avoidance,  cliques, exclusion, abuse, and even murder.

Prejudice hinders positive relationships.  It causes you to close your mind and heart towards other people and different people groups.

Prejudice can be learned.  For example, if  parents are prejudice against a certain race of people by their conversation or actions, they may pass these prejudicial attitudes on to their children.

Prejudice can be the result of negative experiences.  For example, a black man who is attacked by a white man, may develop a prejudice against all white people.

God does not show favoritism. According to Romans 2:11, God does not show favoritism, nor should we.

God does not judge by external appearance. God looks on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).  He does not judge by external factors (Galatians 2:6).

DEALING WITH  PREJUDICE:

Ask forgiveness for your prejudices.  The Bible says your own judgment or prejudice condemns you:  “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things”  (Romans 2:1).

Forgive those who have shown prejudice against you.  If you have been discriminated against in employment, housing, or personal relationships, forgive the offender.  By forgiving, you are not setting them free from their sinful prejudices, but you are setting yourself free from the effects of it.

Stop judging by mere appearances and make a right judgment based on God’s Word:   “Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment” (John 7:24).

Accept others as Christ accepts you.  Accepting others with the same grace and mercy that you are accepted by Christ brings glory to God. (Romans 15:7)

Make friends among different racial, social, and religious groups.  How can you reach them with the gospel if you are prejudice against them and isolate yourself?

 

WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT PREJUDICE:

Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him. (Exodus 22:21)

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. (Acts 10:34-35)

Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment. (John 7:24)

You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.  (Romans 2:1)

For God does not show favoritism.  (Romans 2:11)

For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile-the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:12-13)

Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. (Romans 12:16)

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.  (Romans 15:7)

As for those who seemed to be important–whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearance (Galatians 2:6)

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26-29)

And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him. (Ephesians 6:9)

My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism.  Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in.  If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,”  have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?  Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?  But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court?  Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong?  If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right.  But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.  For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.  For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker. Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom,  because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!  (James 2:1-12)

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