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I am realizing that people who are self-centered and narrow-minded really rub me the wrong way. I know that one area of character development that I need a lot of prayer for is in the area of patience with such people. Sigh.
Sometimes I have this crazy dream. I wish I had all the money in the world in order to send “self-centered and marrow-minded” people on an all expense paid vacation to a foreign country where they do not know the culture or speak the language.
Not only will it be an eye-opening experience for them, but it will help address some of the prejudices and arrogance that people have when it comes to interacting with people who are “different.”
Racism and prejudices are things that are learned, as well as perpetuated because of a lack of understanding. Without the experiences or interaction with people who are different from you, it will cause us to hold on to our prejudices.
Someone just recently forwarded a TIME magazine article to me that made me dream again about having a billion dollars. The article is titled, “Harvard’s Hoops Star Is Asian. Why’s That a Problem?”
Now, that caught my attention.
Harvard University’s Jeremy Lin is an anomaly. He is an Asian-American who plays basketball and plays it well. He is leading the Harvard team in points with 18.1 per game. He also averages 5.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.7 steals per game. In fact, this dude is so good that he has led the team to a 9-3 record, which is one of the best starts for Harvard in close to 25 years.
To put these facts into perspective, there are fewer than 0.5% of Asians who play in a NCAA Men’s Division I basketball team. Therefore to see an Asian excelling it is pretty rare.
So what is the problem?
Well, if you read the Time Magazine article, you will realized that it is still hard for people to accept that an Asian-American can beat your favorite team because he has skills.
In the article, it said that he had to face racial slurs and racial jokes all the time. He has been called anything from a “chink” to “sweet-and-sour pork.” Wait a minute. Isn’t that what non-Asian people like to eat? (being sarcastic).
But the encouraging part of this article is that Jeremy is a Christ-follower. He is even considering vocational ministry. Maybe his commitment to Christ is enabling him to stay strong in the midst of negative and derogatory comments.
All throughout history, there have been many Christ-followers who were in the minority that had to stay strong and not retaliate with hatred. It is easy to lower our standards and go down to the level of ignorance and prejudice. But Christ has called us to something greater.
God was all about teaching moments and addressing the prejudices in our hearts. But it didn’t take him billions of dollars – it cost Him his life.