I have never considered myself a prejudiced person. I grew up in a family that emphasized not judging people based on skin color. However, the following passage opened my eyes to the fact that prejudice takes a thousand different forms:

For if a man with gold rings and in fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, "Have a seat here, please." while you say to the poor man, "Stand there," or "Sit at my feet," have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?...But you have dishonored the poor man...If you really fulfill the royal law, according to the scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well. But if you show partiality, you commit sin (James 2:2-4, 6a, 8-9a).

We dishonor people not only when we mistreat them but also when we ignore them.

The solution is to love our neighbor as ourselves, to treat others the way we would like to be treated.

Our society discounts certain groups of people--the poor, the less attractive, the uneducated, the elderly, etc. Likewise, young children are often discounted by their elders. When I was a kid, I remember wandering among the guests at my parents' parties. None of the guests talked to me or even acknowledged that they saw me. I remember thinking, Am I invisible or what?

Wouldn't it be incredible if we would concentrate on honoring others by treating them the way we would like to be treated. If we do this to those considered to be "beneath" us, the impact can be phenomenal.

A friend of mine, Brad Skaggs, was asked to go to DFW Airport to pick up a man who was not only a renown author and speaker but also the vice-president of one of the largest mission organizations in the world. Being somewhat in awe of this man, Brad was nervous and excited. Afterward Brad marveled, "I was really surprised at his interest in me as an individual. He wanted to know all about me!"

Jesus said, "Whatsoever you do to the least of these my brethren, you do so unto Me" (Matthew 25:40).


Jamie Lash                     

(assisted by Brent Wallace)






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