“A sure way of retaining the grace of heaven is to disregard outward appearances, and diligently to cultivate such things as foster amendment of life and fervour of soul, rather than to cultivate those qualities that seem most popular.”
~ Thomas à Kempis, The Inner Life
“The cross, therefore, is always ready; it awaits you everywhere. No matter where you may go, you cannot escape it, for wherever you go you take yourself with you and shall always find yourself. Turn where you will—above, below, without, or within—you will find a cross in everything, and everywhere you must have patience if you would have peace within and merit an eternal crown.”
― Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ
It’s all about the flesh and how we see it. Race is not in conversation with God but with other human beings. Race is comparing our externals and once we change the texture of our hair, the shape of our eyes, the size of our nose, the shape of our lips, the social coloring of our skin, then what? After we have done all that race says and become who race says is worthy, what’s next? Are we are deemed socially acceptable?
The socially constructed white identity is not the highest expression of our humanity. Instead, Christ is the highest expression and he is who we are to imitate. Paul wrote to the church at Corinth: “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (First Corinthians 11.1). But, Paul didn’t teach the young church to wear Her hair like his or suggest that only blue eyes were beautiful. No, we are called to copy Christ’s actions not his appearance.
Paul writes later in the letter, “I die daily” (15.31) This is what we are called to do as Christians. Dying to self and its desires is Christ- like. Christ modeled this self- mortification in the Garden of Gethsemane: “Not my will but Yours be done” (Luke 22.42). Likewise, we must deny and thereby die to our racial selves in order to bring glory to the image of God in which we were created.
To live life as a racial being, to allow our lives to be subjected to evaluation and judgment based on our external appearance is not the will of God for our lives. To be described racially doesn’t even scratch the surface of who we are as human beings. Race is simply too shallow.