This is lesson 1 of 3 in the Steps to Racial Healing series.
Racial tension seems more prevalent today than it has in some years. The Bible says that in Christ there is neither Greek nor Jew, slave nor free, male nor female, for all are one in Christ (Galatians 3:28). So how should Christians understand and respond to the current state of racial tension in the United States? The first step is to listen.
- Racial divisiveness has not gone away, and it is a topic Christians need to address.
- Eric suggests that the first step toward healing is listening both as individuals and as a society. Often, people “listen” so they can give a rebuttal instead of listening to understand and empathize.
- James 1:19 teaches Christians to be slow to speak and quick to listen.
- Eric was profiled three to four times just recently and was asked twenty to thirty questions by officers, leading to the telling question: “Why are you in this neighborhood?”
- Eric’s father taught him to “just come home” when it came to interactions with police officers. Bryan’s father never had to have a conversation with him about this issue.
- Humility is necessary for real listening. It is important to hear before you are heard. This is where true understanding and empathy begin.
Written content for this topic by Daniel Martin.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- Did anything about this conversation between Pastors Eric and Bryan make you uncomfortable? Explain.
- Have you ever “listened” to give a rebuttal, either in conversation or to something in the media? Explain.
- Read James 1:19-20. What is one practical way you could put this verse into action in your life as it relates to issues of race?
- What are some ways you’ve observed racism to be a continuing issue in the U.S.? Explain.
- Has a police officer ever asked you, “Why are you in this neighborhood?” Explain.
- Do you “freeze up” when a police officer comes behind you in traffic or on the street? Why or why not?
- How do you think your answers to the previous two questions might differ from those of people of other racial or ethnic backgrounds? Explain.
- Read Galatians 3:27-29. What do you think Paul means when he writes, “all are one in Christ?”
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.