PRAYER: Lord allow our hearts to be sensitive to our neighbors and to Your heart. Remind us of our likeness and encourage us to see each other’s hearts. 

VERSE OF THE DAY: 1 Samuel 16:7

Let’s talk about race today. You say the word and everyone shrivels up inside. Now the question is are we talking about running a race or are we talking about ones skin. A little bit of both. It is so important that we change our mindset on how we view one another. Some people were raised to look at the outward appearance and some were raised to look at the heart. I encourage you to have the mindset of God. “For God sees not as man sees for man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). Take a few minutes to think about your upbringing and think about which is better. Looking at ones outward appearance (skin) or looking at ones heart? I hope that this is not a complicated decision but the heart is what matters most. Some of us have had some awful experiences dealing with other ethnicity’s outside of our own. You can’t let a few bad experiences cause your heart to be on guard or change your mindset, to hurt others because someone hurt you. Nine time out of ten it probably was one person who hurt, disrespected, or offended you. So don’t categorize the entire race (ethnic group) on account of one person’s mishap or failure. Instead walk with the mindset of treating others as you want to be treated. We are all alike and made in the beautiful image of God.

As I turn and watch the news and social media and I hear about all of the killing and the violence and all of the bad things that are happening, I realize that I don’t see anyone talking about pulling together (running the race) in the community. What happened to our hearts? Not only that, what happened to our manners? What has caused us to turn away from our own brothers and sisters in Christ? What has caused us to turn away from our neighbors? We walk outside of our doors and most of us don’t even speak and say “Good Morning” or “Hello” to our neighbors. Where did we go wrong with how we treat one another? Treating others as you want to be treated is of importance. What happened to us holding the door for someone as you enter or exit a building? Some of us especially men (sorry) are no longer courteous to ladies. Degrading and disrespecting of woman is on an all time high. Even if a woman disrespects herself that doesn’t give you permission to go along with it. Where is your integrity? Women are no longer supporting our men who go forth and put in hard hours to provide for our families. Our children are disrespectful and talk back to those who are in authority. Our hearts have completely turned away from God as a people and as a nation.

I’m not sure how you were brought up but I was brought up to look at people’s hearts and to be courteous, kind, and loving towards others. As a nation we must get back to pulling together and loving on one another. It doesn’t matter what part of the “salad bowl” we are from…for those who are apart of the older generation, the “melting pot”, we are all apart of it and we all come from it. Instead of being fearful or afraid of a different race, try to understand that particular culture or race (ethnic group). Explore and engage what you do not know or maybe unfamiliar with. It’s okay to ask questions just make sure you ask the right person, with a gentle and kind spirit.

While our topic this morning can be rather sensitive. Think about how much you will make God smile by treating your neighbor with kindness and loving on others. Will God not open several doors for you and pour out a blessing for you just from you saying “Good Morning” or “Hello”? You must realize that your words could encourage someone’s heart. Your smile could brighten up someone’s day. Your sparking of a conversation could be the very answer to your own struggles or solution to your problems. So don’t be afraid to love on one another. Besides, God loves on you and he doesn’t look outward but He looks deep within at your heart. Have an incredible day today. Give this world all of who you are, all of your heart!

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