I’m tough, but I’m not unbreakable. Thankfully, while my body is strong, I understand that the world can make me mentally weak if I don’t know God’s love. Sometimes, when life leaves you feeling lonely, knowing you’re loved by the creator slips your mind. Far too often, this place is cold and unforgiving. Without hope, it’s much too easy to shut down and fall into despair. Hopelessness is the fourth barrier to racial unity.
Society has a way of turning our unique differences against us, especially at a young age when our innocence makes us the most vulnerable. I was seven the first time an adult called me the “N” word. I was fifteen when one of my high school principals snatched me by the collar and demanded to know, “What are you doing in my school?” These are only a few events that caused a racial separation in my life. But there were also seeds of hope intermingled: good parents who didn’t allow politics or race to keep their children from getting to know the first black kid in their class or neighborhood, and great teachers who looked beyond the cultural biases in the curriculum. Our worlds joined together.
20 Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. 21 We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord.
We learned to live, love, learn, and grow together according to God’s plan. This unity wasn’t achieved by ignoring race. No, it’s crucial to understand that being color blind isn’t the best response to racism. We give hope to the lost and lonely by seeing them the way God created them. If we move through life together with purpose, we will find a breakthrough to hopelessness.
Where are the places God invites us to join together with others—at church, at work, in our neighborhoods? Do you seek to understand the differences in others? Do you attempt to navigate through hopeless situations by yourself?
Talk to a parent, spouse, teacher, pastor, etc., when you feel hopeless. Bring so-called outsiders into your circle. Pray for ways to use your spiritual gifts to reach all people. Speak out when you see others being separated, singled out, or ridiculed for their differences.
Lord, allow me to silence my wants to better hear the needs you have for me. Thank you for creating so many people with unique differences. Please help us to continue to learn from one another. Help me to show your love to others, so they feel safe in doing life together. Thank you for your grace. Amen.
This post was written by Jaron Camp, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.
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