Jonah 1:1-2 (MSG) One day long ago, God’s Word came to Jonah, Amittai’s son: “Up on your feet and on your way to the big city of Nineveh! Preach to them. They’re in a bad way and I can’t ignore it any longer.”3 But Jonah got up and went the other direction to Tarshish, running away from God. He went down to the port of Joppa and found a ship headed for Tarshish. He paid the fare and went on board, joining those going to Tarshish—as far away from God as he could get.
Take a look at the Old Testament figure, Jonah. He hated the people of Nineveh for their cruelty toward his people, the Israelites.
He would’ve loved to have gone to Nineveh and declare God’s judgment against them. But God told Jonah to go and warn them of destruction so they might avert God’s wrath.
Your spiritual transformation will be stunted until you let go of your own personal biases.
Jonah wanted no part in this mission of mercy. He tried to run away, but God placed him in difficult circumstances.
When he reluctantly obeyed and preached to the Ninevites, they changed their ways. And not surprisingly, Jonah was upset at God’s mercy on the Ninevites.
God practically had to force Jonah to let go of his prejudice and hatred. This was necessary so he could share God’s mercy with the people he hated.
Your spiritual transformation will be stunted until you let go of your prejudices toward any people group. Seeing your own bias doesn’t come easy.
You need to ask God and those close to you to help you see areas of prejudice in your life. Once you see them, confess them and ask God to change your heart.
Every person carries at least a little bit of personal bias into any situation they encounter; it is a natural part of our very human nature.
Whether our opinions are shaped from past experiences, personal observations, or taught to us, we are inherently prone to bias.
This bias is the tendency to jump to conclusions that is, to base your final judgment on information gained early in the decision-making process, or in some other instances that clouds your current judgment.
Have you allowed your upbringing or experiences to prejudice you against a group of people Women, Men, poor, rich, Asians, Jews, Black or White?
As we look around our world today, we experience the underpinnings of Bias, prejudices, hatred, loss of life, acts of violence like never before. We the people of God must be apart of the solution we so desperately need.
The concern of allowing our bias to govern our thinking unfiltered is a great concern.
Bias, prejudice, and discrimination all live under the same problem. Bias is an inclination toward one way of thinking, often based on how you were raised.
Bias is a tendency to lean in a certain direction, often to the detriment of an open mind. Those who are biased tend to believe what they want to believe, refusing to take into consideration the opinions of others.
The essence of being biased, means you’re lacking a neutral viewpoint. Systemic from cultural contexts, biases tend to take root within an ethnic group, social class, or religion.
Bias in personal and professional settings will continue to cloud the voice of reason until everyone vows to operate with an open mind.
We will continue to see bias as a great concern up until people choose to cast a shadow over preconceived notions embedded in their minds and shine some light on thoughtful explanations from someone else.
For whatever its worth people, choose what to believe and what not to believe. But, most of all, always remain open to the opinion of someone standing on the other side of your experience.
I felt compelled to say something concerning this enormous and historical destructive force called “Bias” in our world and society at large.
I am fully aware that I haven’t even touched the surface of this pervasive divide we all live and experience in one way or another on a daily bases in plain sight.
It is my sincere belief and conviction to remain forthcoming about the ails of our world and connect people to these realities in some small way. Paying attention to our helpful biases while keeping negative, prejudicial, or accidental biases in front and center requires a delicate balance between self-protection and empathy for others.
Point to ponder-
I am fully acquainted with being discriminated against personally and professionally, and I still have the emotional and psychological scars to prove it.
When we are discriminatory against people, it leads to hatred and a lack of compassion toward others. To the contrary, God’s people are to be known for their love and compassion.
Surrendering your life to God means recognizing and relinquishing your prejudices. I am prayerful in today’s world and our country America we can embrace today’s message.
Our Leadership team is especially thankful for those of you who provided financial donations and support in the month of November 2018 by partnering with us in efforts to advance the kingdom of God in this 21st century season: Special thanks to Mr. William Wilson, Ms. Kersha Brown, Ms. Quiana Volney, Ms. Annette Straker, Mr. David Straker, Mr. Kenneth Washington, Ms. Cynthia George, Ms. Rita Mcguffin, Mrs. Barbara Mason, Mrs. Cynthia Waiters-Artis, and Ms. Gertrude Scott.
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Pastor James Baker, Jr.