“And I charged your judges at that time, ‘Hear the disputes between your people and judge fairly, whether the case is between two Israelites or between an Israelite and a foreigner residing among you.’ ”
~ Deuteronomy 1:16
“And justice for all.” We can all get behind that, can’t we? But deep inside our fallen human hearts, something festers.
We are called to be just and compassionate to all, including those who speak, dress and worship in a way that strikes us as “foreign.” We insist to ourselves, “Of course I’m not bigoted. Well… I’m not as bigoted as that guy.”
But there we go, making snap judgments about the kid with the tattoos, clutching our bags tightly as we walk past the homeless man, seeing skin color first, instead of a soul created in God’s image.
Across town, at the Museum of Tolerance, visitors come to a point where they must pass through Door No. 1, marked “Prejudiced,” or Door No. 2, marked “Unprejudiced.” Those who choose Door No. 2 will find that it is locked. The message is this: All of us bear biases in corners of our hearts that we don’t like to look at.
We are imperfect. We do judge others based on their appearance, occupation and address. We may even use the Bible to justify our biases.
God calls on us to shine light on these dark corners. With His help, we can confront and conquer our own prejudices. We can reach out to strangers who make us a little uncomfortable. We can strive to be more like Him. How else will we reflect the Light and Truth of Jesus across all borders and into every heart?
“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my thoughts.
See if there is any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.”
~ Psalm 139: 23-24