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Love Better Developing a Heart that Loves OTHERS better

I had a friend who was the vice president of a small bank in Florida. One day he was telling me about a counterfeit bill that one of his tellers had immediately had spotted. I asked him “Did you show the other tellers the counterfeit bill so that they would know what to look for?” His response surprised me, “No,” he replied, “I don’t think it’s important for them to know all about the counterfeit bills. I would rather they knew the REAL THING so well, that when the counterfeit comes through, they are able to spot it in an instant.” And as he explained, that is exactly what happened. Interesting isn’t it?

I think that in the time that we are currently living in there’s a lot of talk going on. It’s hard to decipher what the good information is on the bad. Well-meaning, God loving people, who want to do the right thing, are even getting caught up in this trap of giving misinformation. I don’t think that others are intentionally misleading people, I just think that there are a lot of people who don’t know what to do. In fact, are you willing to admit, that there are a lot of us who don’t know what to do?

Some people are telling us that we should feel guilty, others are calling us things that we know aren’t true, so we feel helpless and confused.

Let start here: most of us can admit him that we, at times, have been motivated by stereotyping and bias. We can probably also agree that “being human“ is not an adequate excuse for this type of behavior and reaction. There are certainly things that we need to change in our own hearts. It is my belief that we can change things not by being belittled or being made to feel bad, but by understanding God‘s intention for Christians. In other words, when we KNOW God’s design for us, we can more easily spot the counterfeit.

Let start here, with what it means to LOVE GOD and also what it means to Love our neighbor as ourselves. In fact, even understanding Jesus’ command to not only love those who are easy to love, He takes it one step further to challenge us to even “LOVE our enemies” and to “pray for those who persecute you.” Check out this great video from the Bible Project:

1 John 14:11 “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another...” Let’s start here, with this. This is what “to do”. You will find that a lot of the other things that we are dealing with in our culture would be better if this simple truth would begin to be practiced by those calling themselves followers of Christ. Am I oversimplifying things? Yes, absolutely. Let’s start HERE, and then we can begin to talk about what next steps are appropriate in our families. But for now, let’s begin with our OWN hearts.

Week 1 of our SERIES on Micah 6:8

Week 2 of our SERIES on Micah 6:8

Discussion Questions

For the sake of discussion, we are choosing to talk more about bias and stereotyping rather than just talking about racism since most kids/teens don't think they are racist. But, if you say racism and they don't feel it's relevant, they won't necessarily participate in the conversation. ALL of us have biases based on experiences, both with people, food, movies, anything. That is why we think it might be better to approach it from a broader context.

1. Talk about what bias means and how it affects the way we treat people we’ve never met.

2. How does stereotyping differ from bias?

3. How do stereotyping and bias affect the way that we are called to “Love our neighbor as ourselves?”

4. What are some things we can do to fight these urges to be bias and stereotype?

5. Are there “sources of information” that are leading you to “counterfeit behaviors” that aren’t part of being able to distance ourselves from biases and stereotypes? What are they and what do you need to do to change?

6. As a family talk about potential patterns that might even lead to old family habits of devaluing other people and what new standards you are willing to set.

Created By
Mark Elliott
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Credits:

Created with images by Max Bender - "untitled image" • Sharon McCutcheon - "A twenty-four year old woman counting dollar bills." • Jerónimo Bernot - "People protesting on the streets of Mexico against the government and Trump. Protesting against hate."