Sunday, February 6, 2011

Overcoming Bias

By David C. McCasland

Read: Colossians 3:8-17
There is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, . . . slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all. —Colossians 3:11
Bible in a year:
Exodus 39-40; Matthew 23:23-39

A Washington Post article reported that recent studies into the nature of prejudice found that almost everyone harbors biases, and these attitudes affect even those who actively resist them. A University of Kentucky psychologist says that much of our self-esteem comes from feeling better about ourselves than about others because of the group we belong to. Prejudice is not easy to overcome, even within the family of God.

Paul’s words to the believers at Colosse instruct us today, saying that our speech and behavior toward fellow Christians should reflect our oneness in Christ. “[You] have put on the new man,” Paul said, “where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all” (Col. 3:10-11). Instead of superiority and favoritism, we should demonstrate compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience toward each other (v.12). And above all, we are to “put on love, which is the bond of perfection” (v.14).

In the body of Christ, no race, nationality, or class is better than another. Through the cross, Christ has made us one, and we are to treat each other with honesty, dignity, and love.

It matters not what race or gender,
Rich or poor, or great or small,
The God who made us is not partial—
He sent Christ to die for all. —D. De Haan

Prejudice distorts what it sees, deceives when it talks,
and destroys when it acts.

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