Prejudices of the Past

By Donna Boyd of Independence, Missouri, USA

Let no harmful talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear…and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us…  Ephesians 4:29, 5:2, adapted

We lived in Louisiana during much of our children’s formative years. Watching others struggle to free themselves from prejudices of their past, I wrote and expressed gratitude to my parents for teaching me to accept every person as an individual.

Mother wrote back, saying it had not been easy because wartime propaganda against the Japanese had twisted her thinking. Somehow she hid her prejudice as she outgrew it. Realizing how easily she could have taught me to hate, I thanked God for the blessing of an open heart to receive all humankind.

The problem the world faces in racial relations is an example of the chain with which we can bind our children. We may not realize the potential loss of liberty to their souls. How much better it is to give our children a compass of love to direct them into wholesome relationships with their fellow humans. We can limit them to association of our chosen friends or open for them the companionship of humankind.

The chains may be of race, religion, material wealth, education, culture, or family background. In the guise of protecting ourselves from undesirable influences we may be denying ourselves the kingdom of God. To share Christ’s peace, we must take our companions by the hand and enter in.

Prayer for Peace:

Help us to realize, loving God, that all that blocks a person out, blockades us in. We will remember the worth of all people. Move us toward complete unity and the sharing of Christ’s peace with all people.

Spiritual Practice for the Week: Honoring the Worth of All Persons

Each day this week read Psalm 139:13–18. After each reading sit quietly and let the deep meaning of the words sink into your mind, heart, and body. Imagine God watching you grow in your mother’s womb. What thoughts and feelings do you have about being “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14)?

Sense the intimate knowledge God has of you and every child ever born. Ask God for an awareness of the sacred worth of each person on the planet. Weep with God over the soul-wounding forces and events that rob people of dignity and worth. How are you being invited to notice, protect, heal, and affirm the spiritual identity of all God’s beloved people today? Pray for God’s compassion.

Peace Covenant:

Today, God, I will be mindful of my thoughts and words. A new generation is listening and learning.

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1 Comment

  1. Norma Mercurio

     /  9 November 2012

    Thank you for this reminder that every day I have the opportunity to love or hate. May the little ones in my life always see me choosing love so that will be their choice, too.

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