For many times, I heard people mention that they were discriminated or offended by someone. I was also once asked by my friend that whether I ever encountered any discrimination or offense in either Hong Kong or the US. My quick and short answer is “never”.
The main reason I never felt that way is that – I always feel confident about myself. I know my value, I know I never did anything bad to the other people, and I am confident that people will love me when they know me.
At the very beginning, I thought I did not need to care about the people who had stereotypes for the other people and discriminated people by their race, look, or even language. I simply believed these people would never be important ones in my life, and I could simply ignore their “noises”. After all, sometimes I told myself, what the point of debating with a person who had even not finished his/her high school?
Though this is a very useful and practical way to keep peaceful and get rid of the annoying “noises”, I gradually feel that I am being arrogant about the privileges that I have – the education that I’ve received, the opportunities to see what’s going on in every corner of the world, and the experience/knowledge that people have shared with me.
I asked myself to think about where and how I got those privileges? Do you think it’s all because of your talent or hard-working? Did the people that you ignore choose to be “underprivileged”?
I never reflected this seriously – since it helped me to filter the “noises” and keep concentrated – until I read God’s words in the bible (see below).
Seeing the unconditional love that God has for us, I feel shame about myself. How superficial I was when I felt proud of my privileges. Wasn’t that the same as the people that I dislike?
Moreover, what makes our lives meaningful? Is that how much privileges that we have gained for ourselves? No. It is how much we have helped other people.
Shouldn’t that be too easy and meaningless if we only work/help with people who also have similar privileges? Yes, God gives us the privileges – the knowledge, the truth, and the know-hows about getting saved and being a good person – as an “authority”. By granting us the “authority”, He hopes us to use that to help people instead of dividing people by that.
Finally I realized that, I should help the people who are discriminating others, who are bullying others, and who are suppressing others. I need to help them to get closer to God, to listen to and respect others, and to learn how to love, just as what God has done to me.
Eye for Eye (Matthew 5:38-42)38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
Love for Enemies (Matthew 5:43-48)43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 6:14-1514 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Matthew 18:1515 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.
Matthew 18:21-2221 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
Matthew 18:32-3532 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”