Hello, and welcome to Faith is Hope,
Trees and their fruit. Imagine this. You’re walking down a path in the country and you see a tree off to the side of the path. You see some apples on the ground around the tree, you look up and see some still hanging on the tree. So, are the apples good? You’ve had apples before, but not from this tree. Is an apple an apple, are they all the same? But all apples aren’t the same. There’s Granny Smith’s, Golden Delicious, and Macintosh, they all look different and taste different. See, you don’t judge a tree by how tall it is, how deep its roots go, or its bark, but by the fruit it bears.
Or how about this? If I hand you a book without a cover jacket, without any writing or illustrations on the outside, and I asked you, is this a good book? Could you honestly tell me yes or no? Could you tell me about the story written inside? No, and that’s my point. No one can tell if something or someone is good or bad based on looks. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote “judge a man not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character. That’s why you don’t judge a book by its cover, but by the content of the story written inside. And the only way to do that is to read the book.
When we look at someone and judge that person we’re doing two things wrong right off the bat. First, Jesus said: “Judge not that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:1-2).
Second, when you judge someone without knowing anything about them, that’s called prejudice. See the definition of prejudiced is to pre-judge. So, why are people being told that if you don’t look at the color of someone’s skin you’re a racist? So let me get this straight. You’re a racist if you don’t look at the color of a person’s skin, and you’re a racist if you do look at the color of a person’s skin. Why is the color of someone’s skin so important? If the only thing you see when you look at someone is the color of their skin, then you will never be able to see who that person really is.
If you allow someone to label you as black, or brown, or white, then you’ve allowed them to take your identity away from you. A human being, created in the image of God, And reduced you to a color, something that’s inanimate. Instead of being a man or a woman, an athlete or a scholar, you’re a black label or a white label. Stand up, stand up for who you are, what you are, and what you want to be. Or be a slave to those labeling you who and what they decided you are. See, I’m Dave, that’s my label. I’m not white. I’m not black. I’m not brown. I’m Dave. God decided who I am before I was even born. I’ve decided what I am since I was born. No one else.
Why is it that some people think the color of a person’s skin is more important than the person? More important than their hopes and dreams, their fears. Does anyone’s success in life depend on anything other than their desire to reach for something greater than themselves? If the color of a person’s skin is so important, answer me this, what color is God? Is God black, brown, or white, or does it even matter to God? Look, our bodies are like a Tupperware bowl yeah I know, go with me on this. They come in all different shapes and sizes, and in different colors, but is it the bowl you want to save, or what’s inside it? I don’t care about the color of a person’s skin, it means nothing to me. I care about the person’s heart. I care about the person’s character, are they honest? Are they compassionate to others? Are they givers or takers? Who we are coming from what we think, say, and do. The choices we make towards others.
You remember Jesus said “You will recognize them by their fruits. So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.
One final thought. As we are created in the image of God, we are all connected to each other by God. When we accept Christ, we are united in the body of Christ. So why is the government, the media, and others working so hard to divide us from each other? Why do they stoke the flames of anger, and hate pulling us farther away from each other and God? Why, why are their words and actions so demonic, satanic, and evil? Because they are not doing God’s work, but the work of their master, satan.
So hey, I’ve got an idea, let’s stop listening to what the government and the media is telling us about how we’re treating people. And treat others the way Jesus said we should. To treat people the way we want to be treated. And let’s leave the judging to God.
Hey, I’m Dave – join me next time when I talk about “Seeing”, and until then, I’ll see you at the Rest Area.