A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)
Discrimination, which is a form of rejection, includes the emotions of loneliness, unacceptance, unforgiveness, fear, anger, and guilt. These emotions, left unchecked, can manifest into both mental and physical health issues for those who experience them, as documented in a recent APA study called Stress In America – The Impact of Discrimination.
The latest bandaid that Americans have come up with to fight discrimination is diversity management. Political in nature, diversity management promotes racial and behavioral unity through communication and understanding of feelings, terminology, promotion of policy to enable minority advancement, and education/exercises in tolerance to accept certain behaviors as normal. Diversity management is seen in many corporations, public education institutions, and now we are even seeing it in churches and Christian education institutions.
While this sounds wonderful on the surface, because it does give minorities more opportunity and a voice, it promotes division by concentrating on differences instead of what unifies us as the human race. Guilt is frequently used as a tool for change, which is very unhealthy. As well, these programs do not teach the new generations about the power of forgiveness.
As Christians, we are called to live counter to our culture and handle stress of any kind through the truth of the Word of God. Romans 12:2: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. When we do this, our body and our mind are in a state of gratitude to the Father above for releasing us from this stress and this allows us to live in peace and harmony on the inside with everyone, which in turn brings us better mental and physical health.
As ambassadors for Christ living and working in the world among those that have embraced cultural coping mechanisms, God encourages us to love, and minister to those in need. Philippians 2:3-4: Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. This is much different from the acceptance taught in Diversity 101 because sometimes this means having hard conversations with people about their life. We should love people enough to want their internal healing more than we want their approval or acceptance.
Geneva College states on their web page entitled, A Christian View of Diversity that “Multicultural diversity, then, is not to be spurned by the Christian community. Rather, Christians and Christian communities have a special obligation to demonstrate the reality of Christ’s culture-transforming love. In obeying the twin mandates of the Cultural Mandate and the Great Commission, we will discover more and more of the creational blessedness of multicultural diversity as human beings who are reconciled to God and to each other because of Jesus Christ our Lord.” I tend to agree.
Christian to Christian, when it comes to stress caused by stereotypical comments, racial slurs, jokes in poor taste, or a complete unawareness of actions due to learned behavior, we are to confront and not cower. We must go to our brother and/or sister in Christ and use scripture to admonish and teach. 2 Timothy 3:16: All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.
Likewise, when we hurt someone intentionally or unintentionally with our words and actions, we should feel convicted and humble ourselves at the foot of the cross, apologize, and ask for forgiveness. Ephesians 4:32: Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. James 5:16 :Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
If you are experiencing mental or physical health issues that stem from the pain of discrimination/rejection in your life or if you have participated in this sin and feel guilty, God wants to heal your emotional pain! Remember always that He is the great Physician and the great “I Am”.
1 Peter 2:24: He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
It’s LinkUp Day at Soaring with Him!
Share your Blog with our audience below:
1. Add your Link.
2. Visit the one before or after and encourage them with a comment.
3. Share on social media. Click below to share on Twitter that you are joining us!
4. Grab our Recharge Wednesday button and put it somewhere on your blog or blog post. The code is on our sidebar!I'm Recharging! LINKUP today with @PatHolbrook @stepheewilkins at #RechargeWednesday. Join us? Click To Tweet