Applying godly wisdom and intention to a destructive social issue
Racism does not happen by accident. It can be taught and exampled to young and unknowing hearts and minds. This is troubling. Even more troubling are the maladies of ignorance, prejudice and bigotry that must be present and flourishing to feed and sustain racist thinking and actions. As Christians, the mere thought of any of these things having a home in our hearts or minds should send shivers of distress and fear through our very souls. In Part I of our 2-part series on racism, we dissected ignorance, prejudice, bigotry and racism with the eyes of knowledge and the mind of understanding. Next we seek to look at them with godly wisdom and our highest godly intentions.
Wisdom. It is a simple word that carries a profound meaning. To be wise is to have knowledge, to understand that knowledge and to apply it. Wisdom’s application of knowledge reflects not merely a fact based righteousness. It reflects a compassion-driven character as well. Wisdom stands above the fray and is independent from emotion. When it comes to the racial tensions of our present day, wisdom is rarely called upon. Why? Why wouldn’t we want to follow wise and thoughtful perspective?
Thomas Sowell, an American economist and social theorist once said, “The reason so many people misunderstand so many issues is not that these issues are so complex, but that people do not want a factual or analytical explanation that leaves them emotionally unsatisfied.” It's hard to imagine a more emotional topic than racism. When dealing with the potential of your entire race being relegated to the trash heap of inferiority, you get emotional. When you're being unjustly accused of devaluing the essential humanity of an entire race, you get emotional. All this emotion is justifiable... but should it be actionable? Should we gather with those of like reaction and hurt? Hide behind the walls of our frustration? Close the door of reasoned dialogue to those on the outside? No!
Wisdom has the courage to seek the thinking of others and listen. It has the tenacity to find the facts, wherever they may be hidden, and examine them in their entirety. It has the good sense to draw all this input together and conclude an integrity-based course of action. We cannot even begin to deal with racism without wisdom.
Check out our July 6, 2020 podcast, “How Should Christians Respond to Racism? (Part II)” for more. We seek the highest godly wisdom we can find in order to sort through this confusing and volatile pile of trouble. This podcast presents Ken's commentary. He is a black American man whose experiences and individual wisdom with racial profiling and prejudice provide needed insight. Observing the deep wisdom of Scripture, we study how the early Christian church dealt with serious racially-charged issues. We can learn to ease the racial tensions we face in our individual lives, but it requires working together!
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