Prejudice is pre-judging. It makes us see those who don’t endorse what we believe as enemies. We can end up attributing admirable qualities to the people we wish to associate with, and negative ones to those we don’t. But that’s not what Jesus did. He made friends and spent time with sinners and societal outcasts – without compromising who He was or approving of their lifestyle. The Bible cautions against judging ‘before the right time’ and reminds us that God ‘will bring to light things that are now hidden in darkness, and will make known the secret purposes of people’s hearts’ (v.5 NCV). He’s the only one qualified to judge ‘the thoughts and attitudes of the heart’ (Hebrews 4:12 NIV). So if we’re inclined to judge, then we might need to try and put the following advice into action. 1) Face our prejudice. Let’s list all the people we don’t count as friends, people we actually go out of our way not to have a relationship with, and start loving them ‘by…actions and true caring’ (1 John 3:18 NCV). 2) Drop the mask. We need to look inside our heart and ask ourselves what it is about the other person that bothers us so much. Maybe there are actually similarities between us. 3) Get to know the other person. Paul said, ‘I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some’ (1 Corinthians 9:22 NLT). When we take the time to get to know someone, we can see what they’re really like. How people are in private can be different to how they present themselves in public. And if we get to know people, we’ll have a better chance of sharing the good news of Jesus with them too.
Put the first point of advice into practice. List all the people you try to avoid, then choose someone on the list and do something caring for them today.