rebelling against low expectations

What Romans 12 Teaches Us About Responding to Prejudice and Racism

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I woke up this morning, grabbed my phone, and opened Instagram. Stories and posts demand justice for a man named George Floyd, people in protest against our country’s judicial system, and controversy surrounding all of it.

It’s easy to get lost in the whirlwind of opinion. How can I sort through all of this?

I remember my mom’s words spoken so truly in one of our conversations surrounding another political issue. “Don’t listen to what I say and don’t follow what others say– follow what the Bible says, and constantly check your views to make sure they are in line with scripture.”

Upon putting my phone down on the table, I opened up my Bible. Romans 12:9-10 jumped out–highlighted in bright yellow:

“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”

That’s the answer.

Let Love Be Genuine

Genuine love does not simply speak–it acts. It does not mean we put on a show. It does not mean we simply hide behind the words of another. Love is the active pursuit of checking our own hearts for racism. It is recognizing our sinful nature, actively weeding out the areas of our lives that inhibit us from loving fully. Racism. Prejudiced views. Pride. With the Lord’s help, align yourself with the view that all people are created equal, created in God’s image, and are valuable in God’s sight.

Abhor What is Evil

Ask the Lord to break your heart for what breaks his and to see those who are hurting. One of my mentors once said, “Love what Jesus loves and hate what Jesus hates.” Jesus hates racism. He hates prejudiced views. He went up to the tax collectors, the Samaritan woman, and the outcasts, and didn’t treat them differently– even though society shamed them.

Hold Fast to What is Good

As we act justly, let us not forget to walk humbly. We are accountable for our actions and God is the ultimate judge for the actions of others. In our righteous anger, may we not forget what is good and perfect and acceptable in his sight. As we stand up for justice, may we do so humbly and peacefully.

Love One Another with Brotherly Affection

One of my friends who is of color explained to me that in the first year of having his license, he was pulled over five times. He was not speeding. His tail light was not out. In the words of the police who pulled him over, he was “going slow” and “seemed lost.” I sat and listened. My first reaction was to apologize. “I’m sorry you have to be cautious when wearing your hood up. I’m sorry your dad had to tell you how to respond to the police. I’m sorry you have to be alert when you are running down the street. I’m sorry you can’t drive one mile per hour under the speed limit.” But as I apologized, I realized that an apology comes with an active change, by the grace of God.

As we “love one another with brotherly affection” may we encourage others to let go of prejudice and stand with those whose voice is not heard. People of all ethnicities are created in the image of God. Let us love them as our brothers and sisters.

Outdo One Another in Showing Honor

Go above and beyond to let your character precede you. Continue to walk in line with Scripture as you speak out against injustice. God sees and he hears and he knows. He is with us. God fights for us and for all the oppressed and abused.

We should never unwisely or rashly take matters into our own hands, but this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be actively angered and appalled at the events occurring in our society. Outdo racism with love. As Martin Luther King Jr. famously said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”Outdo racism with love. Click To Tweet

Continue to PRAY. Get on your knees and pray and plead for the hearts of the oppressed. Pray for the hearts of those who are racist. Pray for those who are fighting against this issue. Pray for justice to be done, for healing in our land and in every heart, and for the salvation of every individual.

May we not be silent in our lives or in our prayers.


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About the author

Caroline Clark

is a 17-year-old from New Hampshire, where she attends Concord Christian Academy. She began writing when she was three years old, and hopes to combine her passion with God's will for her life. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, and playing basketball. She is passionate about many issues in society today, and hopes to speak out by pursuing a degree in political science.

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