Right Thinking About Discrimination

January 9, 2014

Right Thinking About Discrimination

            There is much talk about discrimination, but it appears that many haven’t given much thought about what it is.  When someone is turned down for a job because he doesn’t meet the qualifications, he is inclined to call it discrimination.

Yes, there is such a thing as discrimination.  It is an ugly thing.  It is one of those things that come out of the hearts of men.  Mark 7:21-23 lists some of them.  “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,   thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:  All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”  Perhaps discrimination is included in the evil eye.

The II World War was brought on because of discrimination.  Hitler convinced the Germans that they were a superior race.  He discriminated against the Jews and proceeded to destroy them. In our day, discrimination lifts its ugly head when people hate Christians and Jews.  If they are asked to give a reason for hating them, they have a hard time finding one.  We also see it manifested in racial hatred.  African Americans hate whites and whites hate African Americans.  Some hate Native Americans.  Why all this hatred?  Many don’t know.

Are we justified in discriminating against people because they are different, they are unattractive, their face indicates that they are of a different nationality, the color of their skin, the way they dress, or the way they talk?  What do these marks tell us about them?  Are they a just reason for putting them down?   Is it our fault that our   our skin is of the color that it is?

When a personnel director interviews people to fill a job he considers their qualifications.  In some cases it may move out of screening and into discrimination, but most often he considers their qualifications.

The following are some questions to think about:  Is showing preference for someone the opposite of discrimination?  Should an association working to liberate drug addicts be forced to hire someone who is a drug addict?  Should discrimination be treated as a crime punishable by law?  Could it be that, for some, discrimination constitutes a reason for making a ruckus about something?  If someone doesn’t approve of my life style, am I justified in calling it discrimination?

Is discrimination ever justified?  Again, it depends on what you consider to be discrimination.  As an illustration; a mother sends her 7 year old son to school on his birthday.  She has baked cookies for him to share with his classmates.  They are special birthday cookies with frosting on them.  He has just enough to be able to give one to each of his classmates and one to his teacher.   It so happens, that one of his classmates brought three of her cousins to school to visit for the day.  He doesn’t have enough for those three visitors.  What does he do?  He decides to leave them out.  Was that discrimination?

All of us are faced with a dilemma.  No matter how big our heart is, it isn’t big enough to give the same measure of love to all those we come in contact with.  We are forced to make decisions in regard to who shall receive a greater or lesser measure of our love.  Does that mean that we practice discrimination?

Perhaps we can learn something from Luke 14:26 which says, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”  One meaning of the Greek word “hate,” used here, is to love less.  Obviously it is the meaning here.  In all of life we love some less than others.  That’s just a fact of life.

 

The word “discrimination” doesn’t appear in the Bible. The closest synonym is the word “dissimulation” found in Galatians 2:13.  “And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.”

God’s people shouldn’t be guilty of what can honestly be called discrimination.  Perhaps the first instance of discrimination in the Bible is found in Numbers 12:1.  “And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.” Miriam appears to have been the instigator of this altercation with her brother, Moses.  The fact that Moses had married this Ethiopian woman wasn’t the only criticism she had against him.  The issue centered around Moses’ leadership of the people.  God punished Miriam by giving her leprosy.

James gives us admonition in regard to discrimination.  In James 2:1-9 he warns the church of the sin of favoring a rich man and discriminating against the poor.  In verse 9 he gives us the sum of the matter.  “But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.”

Galatians 6:10 says we should do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.  That means we are justified in showing favor to our fellow Christians.  They are our brothers and sisters in Christ.

All of us, at one time or another, have experienced discrimination.  It hurts, but we have to accept the fact that he or she had the right to choose.  I too am guilty   if I hold ill will against the one who discriminates against me.  The sum of the matter is; don’t discriminate.  If you are the object of discrimination, accept it as the will of God for you.

Our e-mail address is rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net

 

 

 

 

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