Tag Archives: faith and prejudice

Give us the courage

how_to_heal_a_broken_heart_001God of all bravery, of all triumphs and victories, of every success and accomplishment,

God of guts and grit, of heroism and fearlessness,

Give us the courage to trust in You, the unseen and yet visible, hidden in plain sight within us.  Give us the audacity to believe that we need not search any longer, that You really are present in us, that we need only seek You in order to find ourselves.

Give us the courage to trust more in the unseen than the seen of us, to look within and stand firm, to live within and not back down, to dare to trust in spirit more than flesh, in vision more than eyesight, in Your eternal Word more than the armies of past actions.

Give us the courage to talk back to stereotypes and to deny prejudice a vessel, to say that I am not who has been but who will be.  Give us the determination to be new and to stay new, to not fall back into old patterns and traditions, behaviors and mindsets, hatreds and divisions.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God and put a new and right spirit within me” (Psalm 51.10).  Amen.

Judging Prejudice

“The bird that would soar above the level plain of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings.” ~ Kate Chopin, The Awakening

“Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilised by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.” ~ Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre

One of the hardest things to fight against are the prejudices that have been imbedded in our minds, that arrive on our lips as conclusions unchecked.  They need no introduction because we know them and we know why we know them. These prejudices have been around so long, it would seem like getting rid of a family member or a close friend if we ended our relationship with them.  They are a part of a story, real or imagined, that we have been told or that we tell ourselves.  

Prejudices can serve as one of the ways that we define and distinguish ourselves from others. The differences that we see or have been taught to see in others are a way that we tell ourselves a part from others.  Who we are is defined by who they are not and vice versa. This can be a problem when someone does not fit the mold or breaks away from it as our identity may become threatened.  These prejudices then begin to hold our world and sense of self together.

These prejudices might seem harmless or perhaps serve as the means by which we protect ourselves. If the latter is true then, we’re not about to let our defenses down.  Our prejudices make the world and its inhabitants seem less mysterious and consequently, less threatening. They are what we know, often introduced to us by those we love or have come to respect, through personal stories that might involve experiences with a person from the cultural group being prejudged.  There is an intimate connection to them and no longer holding the prejudice would feel like ending a relationship, breaking a trust or questioning the wisdom of someone we love or admire. 

But, how do our prejudices impact our relationship with God and God’s creation?  How do our prejudices influence our identity as Christians?  How do we make sense of God’s unconditional love while maintaining these beliefs?  How does our allegiance to social prejudices change the story of our faith?  Certainly, God is able to prejudge us and has as sinners but this prior knowledge did not prevent God from offering His Son, Jesus Christ, as the sacrificial lamb for our sins.  How would you judge that?