This is part 2 of 3 in the Steps to Racial Healing series.
Racial tension seems more prevalent today than it has in some years. Jesus said that God’s greatest command begins with loving him with our all (Matthew 22:37-39). Loving our neighbor starts with loving God. So how should Christians understand and respond to the current state of racial tension in the United States? By implementing Pastor Eric’s second step: loving as Jesus loved.
- The first step toward racial healing is listening, and the the second step is love. Love starts with God, which he demonstrated when he sent Jesus to die on all of our behalves.
- The first part of Jesus’s greatest commandment is to love God with our all. It is this love that bleeds out into the second greatest commandment: loving our neighbors as ourselves. Loving God with our all should change us into people who love our neighbors as ourselves.
- God has created all of us differently, with unique gifts and dispositions so we can strengthen one another to work together toward building God’s kingdom in the world.
- People have a natural tendency to love themselves and their own people or communities before they are willing to love people who are different.
- Eric experienced love and acceptance from people of different racial backgrounds after he moved to a new community as a child, and these people demonstrated Jesus’s teachings in their actions.
- All people are created in God’s image, which means all people are valuable in God’s eyes.
- We need to “mind of Christ” to truly love our neighbors. But Jesus even washed Judas’s feet shortly before he betrayed him.
- On some level we are all victims, but we cannot adopt a “victim mentality.” At some point we must move forward and transcend our circumstances and histories, but we also cannot dismiss wrongdoing, especially when it continually occurs.
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?
- What does it mean to “love your neighbor as yourself?” Give a practical example how this has looked in your life or how it might look in the future.
- Read Luke 10:25-37. Who is your neighbor?
- Samaritans were racially different from Jews, but priests and Levites were pureblood Jews. How does this detail affect our understanding of the story of the Good Samaritan?
- Pastor Bryan says we have a natural tendency to love ourselves and our own people before we love those who are different. How do questions three, four, and five address this?
- Have you ever benefited from the unwarranted kindness and provision of another person or family like Eric did? Explain.
- Have you, your parents, or your grandparents ever been threatened for wanting to buy gas, groceries, or some other need? Explain.
- Is forgiving the same as dismissing? Explain.
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.