Tuesday, January 18, 2011

One Second Prejudice...

... two seconds to Christ.

I was thinking last night that a lot of us are not far from the right attitudes and choices.  We humans tend to be so unthinkingly inconsistent.  Maybe all some of us need is someone next to us to ask the obvious question--one extra second and we might actually be Christ-like.

"But Ken, don't you believe you should love your neighbor as yourself?"
"Well, Yes."

And that's all it might take for us to move from spiritual mediocrity to Christ-likeness.  Here are some scenarios:

"I can't stand all the attention they give to Martin Luther King Jr.  All this special treatment to make African-Americans feel good."
"Really, Ken?  Are you saying that African-Americans are getting special treatment because of their color?  That's never happened to whites over blacks, right?  Shouldn't you be happy that after centuries of slavery, after no help whatsoever normalizing after slavery was over, after lynchings and clearly prejudicial laws for a century, you begrudge giving a day to honor someone who in a non-violent way worked to allow African-Americans to be able to sit anywhere on a bus?"

And just that extra second makes me realize how completely ridiculous my first second of prejudice was.  But there are many other issues.

"We need to get rid of all these Mexicans and send them back.  See that woman over there?  I bet she's illegal."
"What's really ticking you off, Ken?  Did she do something to you?  You really think she's hurting you some way or is some sort of a hardened criminal?  Why does it get to you so much?  You've never even seen her before."

Just the extra second of putting yourself in someone else's shoes, of asking how you would want to be treated if you were them, if a person really is a Christian, that's all it can take to move from a mind that has nothing to do with Christ to a Christ-like mind.

1 comment:

FrGregACCA said...

Indeed. Let us, "without ceasing," continually question our thoughts and feelings in this way. We must not believe everything we think, nor everything we feel, especially when it comes to the kinds of first reactions you spell out here.

And let us especially do this before we allow such words to come out of our mouths. (cf. James 1:26 and James 3:1-12)