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In the Image of God

God values all people.


I grew up in a small community. As a teenager I can remember jokes being told on the school playground about people based on the color of their skin. As I transitioned into high school I noticed that the jokes continued. I had a tough time with this because some of my friends were a different race than me. People on my soccer team spoke a different language. My friends I ate lunch with didn’t always look like me. The common thread was that everyone made fun of people with a different color skin, it wasn’t just one group that was singled out.

I remember racial comments being spoke in my home; words were spoken about people just because of the color of their skin or language they spoke. I didn’t know if that is how I was supposed to talk and it was confusing to a young child. I began using hateful words because that was the environment I was in. When I look back on my life I can see the pain of those words.

But something happened when I was twenty years old: I placed my trust in Jesus. I noticed this change; my Christian friends didn’t make the subtle, or obvious, racist comments that my friends growing up had. My Christian friends spoke differently about people than my dad did. I also noticed that it didn’t matter where I was living, racism was alive and thriving. I thought that when the Civil War ended that racism was done too, but that wasn’t true.

Then it hit me, racism has been around for millennia. Racism is a way for people to feel better by degrading others. The sin of racism is still thriving. Think about your life. Think about times you heard racial comments and it didn’t sit well with you. Maybe you spoke up or maybe you had a gnawing feeling in your stomach because ...

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Neal Benson is the lead pastor of Coastline Bible Church in Ventura, California.

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