This is part 3 of 3 in the Steps Toward Racial Healing series.
Ready to move toward racial healing in your community? Step 3 is to lead by taking practical action steps. We cannot hide away from issues of race. We must lead from a courageous standpoint. We can’t be afraid to have healthy dialogues about challenging questions.
Four Guidelines for Leading
- The first guideline is to think like Jesus (Philippians 2). As Christians, we develop the mind of Christ by spending personal time in prayer and study of God’s word, the Bible. How can we have Christ’s mind if we are not walking with him? We can’t. The Christian life is an inside-out experience.
- The second guideline is to correct when necessary. We should give others the benefit of the doubt and ensure that we are seeking to correct, not to aggravate or to foster division because we are offended or angry. We must consider where others are coming from before we react out of offense. Even though Pastor Eric was offended by his friend’s comment, he corrected him with grace and humility.
- The third guideline is to extend grace. Grace goes both ways. Are we willing to be reconciled to others, or are we simply desiring to be “right?”
- The fourth guideline is to make disciples. We are to follow Jesus in thought, word, and deed. We must be reproducing more disciples and those disciples are to be doing the same. In Matthew 28:18-20, Christians are given a “global” command to make disciples of all nations without discretion. We must be willing to obey Jesus and bring the gospel to people of all backgrounds.
The Bottom Line
The ultimate reason to move toward racial healing is that people are dying apart from Christ. The eternal perspective is that racism isn’t just a temporal problem. Racial tension tears down the advancement of the gospel in the world by causing ears to be plugged and eyes to be closed on all sides. If our personal views or political affiliations become more important to us than Jesus, we may cause others to “stumble” when they see us and our views and opinions rather than Jesus and who he is and what he says. Concerning this, Jesus says in the Gospel of Luke,
Luke 17:1-4 (NASB) Jesus said to His disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble. Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”
For Christians, there is “neither Greek nor Jew, slave nor free…for all are one in Christ Jesus.” Let us live out in the world now what the Bible tells us is the ultimate truth: “there is no distinction” between those who follow Jesus (Colossians 3:11).
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?
- Pastor Bryan says the Christian life is “an inside-out experience.” Explain what that means.
- “The body of Christ should be the headlights of the world, not the tail lights.” What does this mean? What does it look like practically?
- Has someone ever insulted or hurt you out of ignorance or unawareness? Explain.
- Have you ever said or done something hurtful without intending to do so, and someone corrected you? Explain.
- Have you ever had to extend grace to someone, or has someone ever extended grace to you? What was the outcome?
- Read Proverbs 30:33. How is this verse relevant to this topic?
- What does forgiveness look like? What does reconciliation look like? How are they different and alike? Explain.
- Pastor Bryan says, “Relationship only happens when at least one person extends grace.” Explain why you agree or disagree.
- What does it mean to have an “eternal perspective” when it comes to dealing with issues of race and with other contemporary social and human rights issues? Explain.
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.