I’m a “super white girl”…my friend who is black told me I could say that. Or should I say my African American friend? Or should I say my friend of color? Ughhh…never mind! I’m going to stop talking now. I’m unqualified — and completely afraid — to speak anymore.
Except I can’t. Not after reading these words in Kelly Balarie’s book, Fear Fighting: “What I have realized is that stopping and stepping into the unsafe, forces us to receive God’s new safe.“
Okay God. Yes, I am safe because of You. Gulp. Yep. I’ll keep talking…
How can I read these words and ignore the prompting of God to share this? To step out of my “safe” place of my encouraging blog posts and into the “unsafe” place where I might say something wrong or hurt someone’s feelings or offend someone accidently or look stupid.
Jesus, help me.
A Little Bit Racist…or Prejudice
The ugly truth is that this summer God showed me I was a little bit racist…or prejudice. Apparently, there is a difference. I didn’t know that because I’m a “super white girl.”
There is also something called “Black Twitter!” Who knew? I sure didn’t. Because I have no idea what it is like to be Black in America.
Ughhh. I’m just going to go throw up now because who am I to talk about this kind of stuff?
I’ll just go stick my head in the sand and go back to pretending God doesn’t hate the divide in our country — the divide that seems to be even wider since November 2016. Relax, I’m terrible at discussing politics and I won’t start now.
Except I can’t do that, either. How many times have I told y’all the Church can’t stick its head in the sand and look the other way?
To be honest, I didn’t think I was looking the other way until this past summer when God revealed something ugly in my heart.
Let’s just say it was a TOTAL. BLIND. SPOT!
It’s so ugly that I was simply going to confess it privately and walk in grace…privately. It’s the ugly kind of sin that doesn’t get talked about much among my “crowd.” In fact, I’d rather not talk about it now!
But the grace of God revealed it, so He could begin to clean it.
The ugly sin? I was a little bit racist.
The Ugly Truth
For two weeks this summer, all I would do was notice somebody by the color of their skin.
I would catch myself and I would hate it! I would immediately say: “God, what is this? What am I doing? This isn’t me. I love Jesus and I love all His people. This isn’t me!”
But it kept happening. For weeks, I was simply doing life while noticing what my eyes saw – color, gender, socio-economic status, people who looked like me and those who didn’t.
It was awful and I was MORTIFIED and ashamed. I kept thinking “God, take this away from me! This isn’t me. I have black friends. I taught and loved my Hispanic students and LOVED their families. This isn’t me.”
God showed me that this ugly was absolutely me. It’s in all of us. They were MY thoughts, and if I spoke them out loud, they would be my words. We know that out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:3).
Yes, I can say I love Jesus and I love everybody, but if I were to say I am color blind, I would be telling a lie. God loves me too much to allow me to keep lying.
This wasn’t the most fun revelation I’ve ever had from the Lord. I countered it with: “But I’m a nice person. I’m nice to everyone. I love Jesus and serve in the church. I’m a lover of people.”
I don’t judge people. Lie
I don’t judge people by what they are wearing. Lie
I don’t judge people by the color of their skin. Lie
But I love Jesus! True
I was loving people of color out of obedience with my MIND — but not with my HEART.
It’s no secret that I’m very much #TeamJesus. I knew I was supposed to love people, and I desired to do so, but until I confessed the ugly place in my heart where prejudice lives, no matter the amount, there wasn’t any room for real love.
I humbly confessed: “Father, you are showing me that I have racism in my heart. I confess it to you and I ask You forgive me and take this sin away from me in Jesus’ name. I want to be a lover of ALL your people.”
Then I asked God to fix it….that’s part two of this story.
Matters of the Heart
I’m a nice person. I’m nice to everybody. I don’t go around committing hate crimes.
But it’s not okay for followers of Jesus to be even a little bit racist. Tweet That
I also learned that I wasn’t racist all the time. There were triggers. Maybe it’s watching the news or driving through parts of Atlanta or walking around in downtown Athens. Now that I know this, I pray for God to help me see with His eyes.
I definitely wasn’t a little racist while I was at church. It’s easy to be color blind there! Thankfully, I worship alongside lots of people of color each Sunday. It’s outside those walls where things get messy.
There are always two responses to God shining truth on a situation in your heart and life:
- humbly admit that the ugly is there and take it the cross; or
- stick your head in the sand and pretend this kind of ugly isn’t in your Jesus-loving heart.
Racism is a HEART issue. Only Christ can deal with this kind of ugly. Tweet that
I cried out: “Father, I can’t get rid of this. Only You can. Forgive me and fix it, God. And cancel the effects of my judgments on Your people.”
I am the church. You are the church. And the church can’t be a little bit racist.
Is my heart perfect? Of course not! But the Lord has started the process of allowing me to see and love HIS world with my WHOLE heart. Fight any fear and judgement in your heart with confession.
We have been commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves. It’s always been God’s desire for his people to worship and obey Him out of GLAD obedience rooted in love….real love.
There is talk that it’s too late for our generation to make a real impact in this “love revolution.” I disagree. I follow the Jesus who busted down walls created by pride and judgment. I say it’s not too late!
It’s not too late because I’m watching God do amazing things in my church. I worship with lots of people of color every Sunday. It’s my prayer that my story sheds a little light on the possibility that this ugly lives in your heart as well. Trust me when I say the Gospel of Jesus Christ can only be good.
If you’re like me and can be tempted to love people with your mind out of obedience, but not out of your heart — confess it to the Lord and allow the beauty of the Gospel to wash that part of your heart clean.
A Prayer for Help
Dear Heavenly Father,
I thank you for your mercy and grace. I thank you for your example on how to love people. Help us, God. This is too big for us. Give us the grace and strength to see the ugly in our hearts and confess it. Help us to be hearers, see-ers and doers of your Word. I pray that every eye that reads this comes to know the saving grace and mercy found on the cross and can extend it those around them. I ask this in Jesus’ powerful name,