Jane M. Phinney | July 20, 2020 |
I discovered one of my newer favorite quotes, last year, while reading a Christian news magazine article. “We spend so much time trying to give to our children the things we didn’t have that we fail to give them what we did have.” (Woodson, B., Back to the Future. World, pp 28-29) Being the advocate for generational faith & family that I am, these sentiments resonated in my soul. At the time, I affirmed these words aloud with a hearty, “Amen!” In my present situation, the Lord knows they have become the cry of my heart before Him.
As the present chaos & confusion continues to unravel the world as we know it, it’s crucial to have steady, identifiable roots that keep you grounded. For me, these roots aren’t found in the externals so often sought after as life goals…money, good looks, position, or talent. When I lay my head on my pillow at night, I instinctively know there is more to life that maintaining things I can’t take with me when God calls me Home. I know in my heart that there is more to me than what people see. And I come face-to-face with my roots…& sometimes my neglect of them. Yes, we all need food, clothing, & shelter. But we can easily get entangled by stuff that does not matter, at the expense of the things that do. God alone sees our hearts & who we perceive ourselves to be. The fact is, Jesus wants to be THE ROOT that anchors our souls. (Hebrews 6:19)
I grew up singing a song that I passed on to my daughters & to my grands. And although I have been known to personalize lyrics, depending on who I’m singing to, these words have stood the test of time & Truth. Jesus Loves the Little Children has 2 messages that can transform relationships if believed & applied to life. 1) Jesus loves all the little children...red & yellow, black & white…they are precious in His sight. 2) Jesus died for all the children…red & yellow, black & white…they are precious in His sight. Our Creator does not show partiality, i.e. favoritism or respect certain people. (Romans 2:11) He does not take bribes because bribes distort justice & blind the eyes of the wise. (Deut. 16:19) In general, my experience has been that young children accept themselves & others…no matter what they look like. Sadly, over time, they are exposed to, & absorb, attitudes of partiality & favoritism—bribes accepted because of comparing. Comparison is as natural to our flesh as oxygen is to breath. Everyone does it. But not all allow this negative pattern to override God’s Biblical Truth. When we compare or “class” ourselves with others, based on our standards, we are without understanding. (2 Corinthians 10:12)
“God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him & does what is right is welcome to Him.” (Acts 10:34) By now you might have figured out that the title of this blog is based on the words of the song. Red, Yellow, Black, White Matter. All colors matter because all people matter to our Creator, the God of the Bible. He was amazingly creative in His people designs, so much so that the odds of 2 people being genetically identical is almost zero. What better reminder that He is sovereign & has a plan for each life! Pause… & think about that! The other side of this coin is that we all have a lot in common too. Here are some examples that came to mind: All color groups have the same red blood in their veins. All color groups have different blood types within the same red blood. All color groups have a Biblical link to the past. All color groups are comprised of uniquely different individuals within that color. All color groups have experienced poverty. All color groups have experienced discrimination. All color groups have experienced abortion. All color groups are victims of sex-trafficking. All color groups are at odds with others within their own color group. All color groups have been at odds with other color groups, at one time or another, throughout history. All color groups were born spiritually dead, since Adam, enslaved to sin. All color groups are affected by personal choices…their own, others’ choices within their color group, or by the choices of another color group. ALL color groups need spiritual redemption. So, to say that one color matters more than another is a tragic spiritual error in God’s eyes.
Though my terminology might not be politically acceptable, I defer to God’s infallible, inherent Word. I hope & pray you can see that all people have more in common with each other than not, while still acknowledging that God created us each uniquely different because He wanted to. He delights in us & has specific purposes for those who open the door of their lives/hearts & welcome the Spirit of His Son, Jesus, in. I fear that we are spending so much time fighting about external differences that we are missing the shared likeness & concerns as human beings created in the image of God. Instead of celebrating what good we were given by God generationally, & building on it, we blame others for what we view as negative, by comparison. This thinking then becomes a pattern for living because the desires of our flesh are insatiable. Color matters naught to God when you stand before Him in death. The playing field is experientially leveled & the requirement is the same for all. Spiritually, that’s how God already sees us, with no one person being favored/preferred/better than another.
The enemy of our souls works feverishly for feelings of s-e-p-a-r-a-t-i-o-n on all levels of relationship. You & God, husbands & wives, parents & children, young & old, rich & poor, employers & employees, pastors & their church, friend to friend etc…regardless of what color your skin is. Worst of all is when the enemy lies to you about God’s love for you. Once your emotions embrace those feelings of worthlessness, a war breaks out inside (& sometimes outside) your soul. ☹
There is no transformation (“social justice”) without healed hearts, & there is no heart-healing outside of the Lord Jesus Christ. Fixing externals does not change people on the inside. At best, externals are temporary. He is the ONLY ONE who can tear down the walls between you & God the Father because of sin. Ephesians 2: 13-16 says Jesus is our peace because His shed blood on the cross dissolved the dividing wall & abolished the hostility, making both groups one. So, IN ADDITION to Jesus loving the children & dying for the children of the world, He also empowers them to be a unifying force for good. Reconciliation with God, through Christ, makes us ambassadors of His reconciliation, drawing others to Him because of the change they see in us. (2 Corinthians 5:17-21) This has nothing to do with color. It has everything to do with Jesus changing hearts. What glorious news! Once you have experienced the dissolution of barriers between you & God, because of Christ’s redemptive/finished work on the cross, you are set in place to be His true peacemaker in the lives of others around you. What are you waiting for? Your time to make His difference is now.