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 world’s eyes are just staring and waiting for us to make a mistake.
Remember in Matthew 22:39 when Jesus said, “Love 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.
It’s easier to admit to sin when everybody else has done it, but here I am today doing something that’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. I’d say things like, “I’m not racist. I have diversity in my life. I’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 I’d even play along just because “everybody 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 everybody’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 “I 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 “extreme" 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.
I’m telling you all of this because I know I’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, God’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 you’ve done. But once you’re honest with both yourself and God, and ask for His forgiveness, it will radically change your life.