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How should Christians understand and respond to the current state of racial tension in the United States? The first step is to listen.

Key Points:

  • Racial divisiveness has not gone away, and it is a topic Christians need to address.
  • 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.
  • Many black men are taught to “just come home” when it came to interactions with police officers. This is not a situation many white men ever have to experience.
  • Humility is necessary for real listening. It is important to hear before you are heard.
  • This is where true understanding and empathy begin.

Quote This:

James 1:19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.

See Also: Culture, Forgiveness, Healing, Racism

Talk About It
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Did anything about this conversation make you uncomfortable? Explain.
  3. Have you ever “listened” to give a rebuttal, either in conversation or to something in the media? Explain.
  4. 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?
  5. What are some ways you’ve observed racism to be a continuing issue in the U.S.? Explain.
  6. Has a police officer ever asked you, “Why are you in this neighborhood?” Explain.
  7. Do you “freeze up” when a police officer comes behind you in traffic or on the street? Why or why not?
  8. How do you think your answers to the previous two questions might differ from those of people of other racial or ethnic backgrounds? Explain.
  9. Read Galatians 3:27-29. What do you think Paul means when he writes, “all are one in Christ?”
  10. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

This is part 1 of 3 in the Steps to Racial Healing series.