Bias In The Church

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
 
Bias and prejudice aren’t words that are explicitly used in Scripture, but Scripture directly addresses the topic nonetheless. Bias is when you project your preconceptions or prejudices against people who are different than you are. It’s the reason some businesses fail because they don’t market their products to different groups of people. It’s the reason tensions arise when people don’t cultivate the ability to speak to people who are different than they are. And it’s the reason some churches don’t grow because they fail to adapt their methods to the realities of a diverse world.  
 
Bias can exist on the basis of such things as: race, gender, class, religion, age, or physical ability. But a strong church, a great church, a powerful church confronts bias and removes prejudice so that those outside the church can experience the power of God.  
 
Too often we allow our biases to block our blessings. Instead of being open-minded and expanding our horizons, we turn up our noses and act as if we are better than the people we are trying to reach.  
 
But there’s a flaw in that form of reasoning. Just because people don’t fit your profile of acceptability does not mean they don’t know God. And that’s the problem with some churches. Rather than loving people and showing compassion to people, we judge them. There’s nothing worse than a judgmental Christian.  
 
At the end of the day, it’s not our job to judge others. That is the Lord’s job and His alone. Only He knows the contents of someone’s heart. Our job is to point others to the Lord so that they might have a relationship with Him and experience the same love, grace, mercy, and compassion we’ve experienced from God. So when we’re tempted to show bias, let’s instead extend the love of Christ and share His message with whoever will listen, no matter how different they are from us.
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