Racism is a pretty controversial topic, especially in the world we live in today. Among Christians, things can get especially dicey, as the rest of the worldâ€™s eyes are just staring and waiting for us to make a mistake.
Remember in Matthew 22:39 when Jesus said, â€œLove your neighbor as yourself?” Right there, the Bible is directly telling us that to loathe someone based solely on the color of their skin, is a sin. But I didn’t always understand that.
Itâ€™s easier to admit to sin when everybody else has done it, but here I am today doing something thatâ€™s far from easy; I struggled to love my neighbor as myself. It wasn’t how I was raised, but the environments I was around in every single job situation planted seeds of hate into my heart. I pushed away when God started to deal with me about it. Iâ€™d say things like, â€œIâ€™m not racist. I have diversity in my life. Iâ€™m not a hater.”
Yet all the while, I wouldn’t speak up when my coworkers at a freelance writing gig would tell racist jokes, sometimes Iâ€™d even play along just because â€œeverybody else was doing it.” I worked for almost eight months for an internet political publication; an environment that was toxic waste disguised as candy. Some of the articles I was assigned to write were satirical and entertaining, but then there was a vast majority that I was told to write, that made ugly and cringy remarks about other races, cultures, and people in general in ways I wasn’t comfortable doing. But like an idiot, I didn’t refuse to do the work; I played along in hopes of gaining everybodyâ€™s favor.
After a while, all the jokes and satirical remarks started to become more than just horseplay; I started to really believe the things I was being told and dwelled on how much I didn’t like people who weren’t like me. Still, when God would deal with me about it, I would shove it off and say that â€œI just wasn’t like that.” That it was all fun and games. I was living a lie.
Eventually, the publication went out of business, and I went on to pursue other writing opportunities. I was upset at the time, but now I thank God that he took me away from all that stress.
It was at a church conference that God started to deal with me again. I realized that though I wasn’t as â€œextreme” as people you might see online, I was enabling it, writing and promoting it, and thinking those thoughts. God told me that he did not call me to be a hater, and during the altar call I ran, fell to my knees and poured my heart out to Him and told him how sorry I was. I know that He has forgiven me, and restored me to a place of love rather than hate.
Iâ€™m telling you all of this because I know Iâ€™m not the only one who has struggled in this area. I didn’t like the person I let the world turn me into, and God didn’t either. God has commanded us to love, not hate.
Today I am not the same person I was when I began my pursuit of writing. God took away the ugly sin and created a beautiful testimony; one that I will not shy away from. Am I ashamed of all the ugly things I published during my first writing gig? Absolutely. But it is a reminder of who I was before God totally transformed my mindset. I am no longer addicted to outrage, hatred is not in my heart; instead, Godâ€™s love has completely and totally transformed me.
God wants to deal with you about some stuff too; stuff that may not necessarily be easy to admit to yourself that youâ€™ve done. But once youâ€™re honest with both yourself and God, and ask for His forgiveness, it will radically change your life.