The unloving heart of prejudice

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The world can be a dismal depressing place when considering how awfully people treat each other.  One of the worse things we do is judge people based in what we think we know about them and without really giving them a chance to be who they truly are first.

What we presume we know about another person can change how they are able to interact with us.  A negative idea assigned to a person can cripple them from reaching their full potential.  Prejudice views are often secretly held, not even fully realized consciously by those who hold them and that denies those harmed even a chance to defend themselves.

Prejudices can be individually held views.  But they can also be promulgated by groups, taken to simply be common sense and unquestioned.  It is nearly impossible to root out prejudice unless a person is determined and deliberate in avoiding it.  The motivation to overcome prejudice too easily outweighed by the draw of popular acceptance in a particular group.

If prejudice is to be overcome, it will require treating people as unique to be judged on their own merits and not to classify them by superficial characteristics then color what they say according to what you expect to find.  In other words, it requires an extra effort to judge each person individually in order to escape hurtfulness and unfairness of prejudice.

Prejudice, at its core, is a lack of love.  It is love that causes us to treat people respectfully as individuals and contempt for the group to which we assign a person to that we judge them without ever knowing them first.  Prejudice towards a person is a sin of not loving them enough to treat them as we would want to be treated.

“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)

There are many fakes and phonies who use the name of Jesus Christ and yet are lacking in the same love.  Christianity is just religion for them, it helps them feel good about themselves and they go on with living their prejudiced lives.  However, sincere faith does not build walls between people based in ethnicity, gender or economic status, it tears them down and brings all people together around the idea of love.

What you think you know about a person can hurt them.  What you think you know about a person can bias you against their personality and input.  Prejudices box people in, it confines them in a prison of our own preconceived ideas and essentially robs them of their life as an individual.  It is a murder of a unique individual who deserves our love and respect as much as anyone else.

Having been on the receiving end of prejudice has not been fun.  The various experiences have left me sometimes feeling disillusioned and jaded.  But then I get reminders that not everyone is as small and shallow.  There is always hope for those who are prejudiced to mature spiritually and grow in love.  Still, any prejudice is too much.

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