For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. – 1 Corinthians 12:13 (NIV)
Prejudice is forming negative opinion about someone without adequate basis. In a very real sense, it is judging someone without all the facts, condemning them in the court of personal opinion. Prejudice can be formed against a person or an entire race of people. The Bible speaks out clearly against prejudice. God created all people equally; all humans are unique and special creations formed by the Lord Himself. We are not to be judgmental, but loving. We are not to be suspicious, but inviting.
- Don’t be prejudiced for or against a person because of appearance.
Stereotypes abound – prejudice against fat people, short people, skinny people, ugly people, black people, white people, yellow people, people with skin defects, bald people – the list goes on. But the real person is inside; the body is only the shell, the temporary housing. It is wrong to judge a person by the temporary house he or she is in. The real person inside may be a person of incredible beauty.
1 Samuel 16:7 – …Don’t judge by his appearance or height…The LORD doesn’t make decisions the way you do! People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at a person’s thoughts and intentions.
Isaiah 53:2 – My servant grew up in the LORD’s presence like a tender green shoot, sprouting from a root in dry and sterile ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him.
- Don’t be prejudiced for or against a group because of one person in the group.
We often form an opinion about an entire group of people (nationality, church denomination, local club) based on the actions of one individual.
Esther 3:5-6. – [Haman] was filled with rage. So he decided it was not enough to lay hands on Mordecai alone.. he decided to destroy all the Jews throughout the entire empire.
- Don’t be prejudiced because of a person’s financial state.
A wealthy person and a poor person came to church. Which is welcomed more? A wealthy person and a poor person speak up in a church committee meeting. Which one do you listen to more carefully?
Proverbs 14:20-21 – The poor are despised even by their neighbours, while the rich have many “friends”. It is sin to despise one’s neighbours; blessed are those who help the poor.
Proverbs 14:31 – Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but those who help the poor honour Him.
James 2:1-9 -…But if you pay special attention to the rich, you are committing a sin…
- Don’t be prejudiced because of youth or old age.
How often have you heard the word “They are just children”? We don’t have time for children. We don’t listen to them as much as we would to an adult. In fact, children are the true VIPs of the world, for in their hands rests the future. To youth belongs the future, to old age belongs the honour of bringing us all to this point. Youth has the opportunity to win the world. Old age has the experience of victory. We should honour each for its contributions.
Matthew 18:10 – Beware that you don’t despise a single one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father.
1 Timothy 4:12 – Don’t let anyone think little of you because you are young.
1 Timothy 5:1 – Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him respectfully as though he were your own father. Talk to the younger men as you would to your own brothers.
- Don’t be prejudiced because of a person’s occupation.
God does not write off families or occupations, and perhaps that is why Jesus chose to come to the family of a carpenter rather than the family of a king. God loves each person regardless of occupation.
Mark 6:2-3 – “Where did he get all his wisdom and the power to perform such miracles? He’s just the carpenter, the son of Mary…”.
- Don’t be prejudiced because a person is a family member or a “hometown” person.
Familiarity breeds contempt. We know someone well, so we don’t respect that person. Actually, when we know someone well, and if that person has integrity, we should honour that person even more. These people had God’s Son in their midst but couldn’t recognize Him because of his family and address.
Mark 6:4 – Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honoured everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.”
- Don’t be prejudiced because of ethnic or racial differences.
In heaven there are no ethnic groups, no races, no distinctions such as these, so why should they be important now?
Luke 10:33 – Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt deep pity.
John 4:9 – The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans.
Acts 10:28 – Peter told them, “You know it is against the Jewish laws for me to come into a Gentile home like this. But God has shown me that I should never think of anyone has impure”.
Acts 10:34-35 – Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God doesn’t show partiality. In every nation He accepts those who fear Him and do what is right.”
- Don’t be prejudiced against a person because of the place he or she grew up or now lives.
The other side of the tracks is often viewed as less than this side, but God lives on both sides of the tracks.
John 1:46 – “Nazareth exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from there?”
- Don’t jump to conclusions about someone before you get all the facts.
The western tribes heard that the eastern tribes had built an altar. Immediately they jumped to the wrong conclusion – that the altar was built to rebel against God. In fact, it was built to honour God. Had they not sent a delegation to inquire, war would have broken out. Based on a single act, the western tribes developed a prejudice that could have been terribly destructive.
Joshua 22:10-34…- When the rest of Israel heard they had built the altar…the whole assembly gathered at Shiloh and prepared to go to war against their brother tribes…
- The world is prejudiced against Christ followers.
When a person enjoys sin and wants to keep it, it’s natural to develop a hatred for Christ and His followers.
John 15:19 – The world would love you if you belonged to it, but you don’t. I chose you to come out of the world, and so it hates you.
- Christians must be careful not to be prejudiced against other Christians, for whatever reason.
Romans 14:10 – Why do you look down on another Christian? Remember each of us will stand personally before the judgement seat of God.
Galatians 3:28 – There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female…you are one in Christ Jesus.
Colossians 3:14 – And the most important clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony.
For further inquiries please contact us on Tel Nos. 0302-772013 or 0268130615