Recently a young black boy told me his dad did not let Santa Clause come to his house at Christmas. I asked him "Why's that?" He replied, "Because my dad said he will shoot any white man who tries to step foot on his property." Then the kid smiled and laughed. I think he was just kidding me. No harm was done.
The truth is, however, there are real prejudices in this old world that can cause bad problems.
In the Bible, we read an interesting little story about Phillip having a talk with his brother, Nathanael. It went like this: Jesus approached Phillip and invited him to become a follower. Phillip ran to Nathanael and told him that he had just met Jesus. And he also added that Jesus was from Nazareth. Nathanael responded by saying, "Nazareth? Can anything good come from there?"
Ouch! Now that's a prejudice. He already had an opinion about Jesus just because of what side of the tracks He was from.
But let's not be too hard on Nathanael. After all, we do the same thing some times. We quickly size people up on occasion because of what color their skin is, where their homes is, or even how they dress.
Now, Nathanael did come around. He gave Jesus a fair chance and Jesus did accept him gladly. It all worked out. But he nearly missed out because of a faulty preconceived notion about people from Nazareth. What a tragedy that would have been! Jesus is the person he needed most of all.
Folks, here is the worst part of being prejudiced: It causes us to miss out on relationships with amazing people from all walks of life.
Let's be slow to form opinions of people until we give them a chance and get to know them. It doesn't matter if they are black, white, Hispanic, Asian, male, female, young, old, rich, poor, educated, uneducated, Democrat, or Republican. The real "stuff" of people is found in their hearts and minds. And the real "stuff" usually comes out after we get to know therm personally.
God did not make us all just alike, and that's ok. Let's celebrate the diversity of our human race. Everyone brings something unique and helpful to the table. This makes everyone valuable!
May we say "No" to prejudice.
May we say "Yes" to accepting and loving people who are different from us.
May we give people a chance to reveal who they really are from the inside out before we form any opinions of them.
That sounds pretty fair and smart to me.