Racism is defined as “the poor treatment of or violence against people because of their race.” Do you think you would enjoy being treated poorly or beaten up because of your race? Let’s take a look at how Michael and his family handled racism.
Watch DVD Scene 17 (“So Many Rednecks”) Start time—1:12:48-End Time—1:19:00 (7:12)
1. During this scene, where can racism be found? (In the stands by the father of the football player and on the field by the football player from the opposite team.) Who did racism affect in this scene? (Michael and his family.) How does racism affect the person saying the racist thing or performing the racist act? (Racism builds hatred toward others in those who take part in it.)
2. How did Leigh Anne respond to the racism? (By telling the father in the stands to shut up.) How did Michael respond? (By trying to ingnore it.) Who do you think handled the situation in the most God-pleasing way? (Michael.)
3. Where do you see racism at your school and in your community? (Answers will vary.) How do you respond to racism at school: ignore it, take part in it, or defend the person that is being treated poorly? (Answers will vary.)
4. Is racism just about things we do, or do our words play a part? (Racism is about words and actions. Punches hurt people, but words do, too.)
5. Has anyone ever mistreated you because of your race? (Answers will vary.) How did that make you feel? (Answers will vary.) How did you respond? (Answers will vary.)
6. Read Matthew 28:19 and 1 John 4:21. Does God love all people? (Yes; He commands us to go and make disciples and baptize all people, not just those who have the same color of skin as we do.) According to 1 John 4:21, should you love all people? (Yes; we should love our brothers and sisters regardless of race.) If you are racist, do you love all people? (No.)
7. Read Acts 10:34-35 and Romans 15:7. What do these verses say about racism? (Acts tells us that God shows no favoritism accepting people from all nations who fear Him; Romans tells us we are to accept one another just as Christ has accepted us.) If God accepts all people from all nations who fear Him, should we mistreat someone because of their race? (No.) According to Romans 15:7, why should we accept all people? (When we do we bring praise to God.)
8. Read Matthew 22:37-39. Jesus tells you in these verses that you should love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself. If you love God, is there any room for racism in your heart? (No.)
9. Read Galatians 3:26-28. When God looks at us, does He see skin color or a child of God? (God doesn’t see Jew or Gentile, black or white, male or female. He sees his baptized children as one in Christ.) When you look at other people, how should you see them? (As a brother and sister in Christ.)
10. Read Ephesians 2:14, 16. Does being one in Christ Jesus bring people together or tear them apart? (Being one in Christ brings people together by destroying barriers and bringing down walls that divide people.)
11. Read 1 John 1:9. Will God forgive you for your words and actions against people because of their race? (When we confess any sin, including racism, God will forgive us.)
Christ gave us the perfect example of loving others and expects us to follow his example. Romans 15:7 reminds us that Christ has accepted us, and because of this, we should accept others. We also learn in this verse that when we accept others we are bringing praise to our God. We also show praise to God when we stand up for those who are being treated poorly or persecuted because of their race. We talk of love for God, and we do this by loving others regardless of their race. God loves us no matter what color of skin we have, and we should love others the same way!
“If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers” (James 2:8-90.)
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19).
“And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister” (1 John 4:21).
“Then Peter began to speak: ‘I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right” (Acts 10:34-35).
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” (Rom. 15:70).
“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself'” (Matt. 22:37-39).
“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:26-28).
“For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility” (Eph. 2:14, 16).
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).