A couple of points that really stood out to me:
Is there a gap between how I see people different from me and how Jesus sees those same people?
Jesus stands up for those who are victims of prejudice.
If I treat anyone in this world different from the way Jesus would treat them, I am not living as a follower of Jesus Christ.
Ugh. *hangs head*
So much to say. So much fear of being misunderstood. More fear of being enormously ignorant.
What’s the old line? I’m not prejudiced, some of my best friends are ______ (fill in the blank). I like to think that I’m not motivated by appearance or stereotypes but its not true. I make judgements or react without having all the facts. Sometimes I’m afraid to have conversations with people of other races(more so those I don’t know personally) because I’m scared to death I’ll say something wrong. I don’t know all the rules of racial correctness or what is and isn’t offensive. I guess I should just blast on through being myself and deal with my mistakes?
I pull my children closer when I see a pack of young guys in clothing 10x their size with hoods-especially during the school day. I’m pretty sure they’re up to no good otherwise they wouldn’t be hiding in their clothes. I’m paranoid when ANY language other than English is being spoken around me. I’m sure they’re making fun of me(I know its a BIT vain). I look at moms with wacko kids in stores and wonder how they could ever raise children like that. (Apparently, I don’t read my own blog!) And here’s the big one Christ-following people–and don’t tell me you’ve never done this. Don’t you get all upset when someone cuts you off in traffic or pulls a bonehead move in any situation-until you realize its someone you know or find out they are “a christian”? Why is it ok to be wronged by someone you know but not by a stranger? Shouldn’t you be just as irritated at your friend or just as patient with a stranger?
Here’s what I see toward myself. I am pasty white girl. Overweight. Three kids in 3 years. When I drive my 1999 Sable in my sweatpants and t-shirt, hair in a ponytail and no make-up, I am white trash. When I drive the SUV holding a travel coffee mug, I am soccer mom(and my kids don’t even play soccer). Now INSIDE the store, if I am dressed neatly, hair done with make up, I am treated with more respect than if I don’t have make up on. So if I want to have a good shopping trip, I’m going to have to look good. And you know what? I make these same judgements. I will say that 99.9% of the time, God does something to show me that I’m off base. The mom that I thought(by appearance)was going to be rude and let her child run rampant, actually offers me the only available kiddie cart at the grocery store so my 2 kids can have it rather than her 1. And her child (maybe 5 yrs old?) gets out of the cart with NO COMPLAINING OR WHINING. I’m such an idiot. I wanted to tell her what a great job she was doing raising such a respectful little boy but never got across the parking lot to do it. She drove away with a Jesus bumper sticker on the car. I thought she represented well. And me? Not so much.
I don’t know how to get smarter. I live in a diverse neighborhood and town, go to a diverse church, my daughter’s school is diverse so I don’t think I’m sheltered. I don’t like that these thoughts come up.
Now my husband would say that I do come away from some situations trying to give the benefit of the doubt–especially with moms and kids in public! I just wish that was my FIRST reaction and not something I come around to. I have just got to start getting Jesus into my errands.