The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Dealing with Racism: Why did God make me the wrong color?


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This post is speaking to souls who are being persecuted due to the color of their skin.

God is obsessed with variety–this is something we often fail to really understand about Him.  He doesn’t just think differences are nice, He feels differences are a must if things are going to stay appealing and interesting.  So for Him, it’s all about a rainbow of skin colors.  There’s not just “white”, there’s a rainbow of lighter shades with snowy white, golden, and rosy tones.  There’s not just “black”, there’s a whole spectrum of darker shades from a rich tan to inky midnight.  It’s all fabulous to God.

Now, when God decided to place your skinless soul inside an earthsuit which He had painted with what He considers to be a lovely shade, He was thinking about more things than His personal preferences.  When He placed you down in your particular patch of the world, He was well aware that you’d be surrounded by narrow-minded fools who would declare your skin color to be some sort of flaw.  To help put things in perspective here, realize that God does this to people all the time.  The skin color issue gets a lot of attention in the media (which is always trying to fuel the racial fires by letting us know what color everyone’s epidermis is).  But in real life, when you’re getting picked on daily because of the shape of your nose or the size of your waist, or the way you stutter or walk, it’s no less painful than getting picked on for your skin color.  Getting shunned and hated for some natural feature that you have is very painful.  So did God intentionally set you up to get picked on in the skin color area?  Yes.  But if He hadn’t gone the route of skin color with you, He probably would have set you up with some other feature that would have brought you similar grief.  Why?

Every trial has positive spiritual lessons associated with it.  There is nothing easy about choosing to pursue God in this world.  In many ways, He makes Himself seem like a very unappealing option.  At first glance, it seems much easier to succeed with people, who we can see, touch, and easily manipulate.  God is invisible, God is needless, and God refuses to be led by us.  So how does God help us choose to pursue His invisible, alien Self when we could just settle for relating to our own kind?  Making other humans shun us for utterly stupid reasons is a great way to motivate us to start looking around for better options.  Humans say they hate us for things we can never change, while God says He loves us just as we are.  Suddenly God starts sounding very appealing.

Once we commit ourselves to pursuing God, new challenges arise.  It’s never been popular to side with God in this world.  How does God help us learn how to stand strong against the majority?  By helping us lose respect for the majority’s opinion, and by helping us develop thick skin in the face of other people’s rudeness.  Once again, setting us up to be picked on for stupid issues gives us the opportunity to develop these skills.  When everyone’s harassing us for the way we look, we have two options: we can either accept their definition of us, or we can learn how to define ourselves apart from them.

To thrive with God, we must learn to let His assessment of us be the one that defines us.  This becomes especially critical if God calls us to serve Him in ways that make us a target of extra criticism.  Where did Isaiah find the courage to walk around totally naked for three years just because God told him to?  It doesn’t matter what color your skin is: no one wants to see you hanging it all out like that.  Where did Ezekiel find the courage to lie in the dirt for over a year in front of everyone?  How did Noah find the stamina to build some ridiculously huge boat?  All of these men had to learn to define themselves apart from the opinions of others.  They were all rejected and ridiculed, but they all rose above these things and honored God anyway.

When God sets you up early on in life to practice rejecting the stupidity of others and learning how to define yourself as valid apart from their approval, He’s setting you up with skills that are going to be enormously helpful in your walk with Him.  God did not just plunk you down carelessly without any consideration of what your life would be like.  In this world, He intentionally sets you up to get pounded on–but only to a degree that He knows will be productive.  We can’t all handle the same kinds of trials.  God sets each soul down on a different path and gives them all a fair shot at victorious living.  You need to see the trials in your life as the personal growth opportunities that they are.  And meanwhile, realize that God does like your shade–He thinks it’s just right.

Understanding Refinement: Why God is Brutalizing You
Understanding the Purpose of Lifelong Trials

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