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January 15, 2024

Ep.1316: Is My Christian Judgment Tainted by Bias? (Part II)

Learning to better recognize and combat our personal biases

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Play Part I

CHAPTERS

[00:15:35]
Does having liberty in Christ mean we can do whatever we want?


[00:29:45]
How do we break our natural tendency to belittle others?


[00:46:02]
Paul and Barnabas split up over a disagreement. How can we hope to do any better?


Theme Scripture: James 1:19-20

In Part I, we laid a foundation for understanding and managing harmful biases. One primary lesson we learned was that we ALL - no matter who we are and what our background is - are biased. While this is an uncomfortable truth, it is a necessary realization, for a true Christian is to strive to overcome any and all fleshly inclinations. We also learned this overcoming is no easy task. Just because we may be able to point out a personal bias does not mean we are on a path to dismantle it. On the contrary, often times recognizing our biases can make us very self-protective. In this episode, we continue to uncover specific ways our biases show themselves and specific scriptural principles to deal with them. This also is not easy!

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We gave a simple working definition for bias:

An inclination or outlook that prevents an unprejudiced consideration of a matter.

The objective of this definition is to focus in on those biases that are obviously detrimental to our ability to see clearly. We need this clear focus because the fact is, most of us - and that includes me - live each day affected by personal biases. If these preconceived conclusions about others in our daily experiences don’t bring us to godliness, then they are undeniably wrong.

One example that is a problem for most of us.

Many of us have personal biases towards others that belittle them. As Christians, this should never be so - and yet it’s a problem. What about someone who is of a different ethnicity, or a different religion, or is of a different political affiliation than me? Do I discount them in any way? What if someone has different social associations? If I am struggling financially, how do I feel about those who are not? How do I feel about those who struggle if I'm well off? If we look deeply into our reactions to those who are different than we are, we will likely uncover several biases.

This is an age-old problem.

In the New Testament, James pointedly brings this out. He writes about the trap of honoring those who come into our Christian circles who appear to be well off and distinguished. We offer them the higher seats of honor in our gatherings. He then compares this to someone coming into our midst who may appear ragged and lowly. He emphatically writes that treating them like second-class citizens is far beneath the standards of equality in Christ we have been called to. Simply stated, this is wrong!

Check out our January 15, 2024 podcast, “Is My Christian Judgment Tainted by Bias? (Part II)” for more. We take aim at the serious damage this kind of bias can cause. We also expose how biases can break trust between us, and most tragically, how they can burn bridges. Our personal biases put us all in jeopardy. Join us as we seek biblical solutions for this often-overlooked, rampant personal problem!

 

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