CONFRONTING BIAS

Confronting Bias https://beckielindsey16.com/2017/06/12/confronting-bias/

Bias is a hot topic nowadays.

“Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth,” according to the American Press Association. And yet, ongoing allegations of media bias are what’s trending in the news most days. A recent Harvard study reveals that among the group of mainstream media analyzed, every outlet was negative more often than positive concerning President Trump’s first 100 days in office.

Fake news and media bias although disconcerting, should not be surprising.

Human beings tend to show bias, favoritism, and prejudice. However, Christians are called to God’s standards, not human sinful tendencies. Not only are we to not show bias and favoritism, we are to stand up for truth and expose lies.

“Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them.”
Ephesians 5:11

If we don’t like what we are seeing in mainstream media, we have a responsibility to DO something—to expose lies. But before we point our proverbial finger, we have an obligation to look within our own hearts, for a Christian’s creed is to speak the truth in love. We must confront bias within ourselves before confronting others.

Bias meme

 

 “My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in.” James 1:27

Discrimination and prejudice are the evil cousins of favoritism and bias. All four of these ugly sins are rampant in our society. Our culture elevates people based on appearance, wealth, age, and social status. But the Bible is clear, favoritism is not God’s will for Christians. We are to be holy as God is holy. And God does not show favoritism (Romans 2:11).

It is difficult for today’s Christians not to show favoritism and we aren’t alone. Even Christ’s closest followers struggled with bias against people different from them. When the apostle Peter was first called to minister to non-Jewish people, he was reluctant. He later admitted, “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.” The fact that James addresses the sin of favoritism, shows it was a common problem then much like today.

So, how do we move away from favoritism and bias, toward God’s desire for us?

First, we admit when we have sinned. Second, we ask God to forgive us. Third, we ask God to help us love our neighbors as ourselves. Finally, put that love into practice by reaching out to those different than ourselves.

When our walk reflects our talk, people will listen. In this way, we can expose evil deeds with Christ’s attitude of truth in love.

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25 thoughts on “CONFRONTING BIAS

  1. Very insightful article. As you said, Paul and James both addressed the issue, pointing out that we do it and that it is wrong. The bigger problem is when we don’t recognize the propensity we have to bias and don’t attempt to continue striving for truth.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Beckie –
    Thanks for the wonderful post. I like how you spell out the steps:
    First, we admit when we have sinned. Second, we ask God to forgive us. Third, we ask God to help us love our neighbors as ourselves. Finally, put that love into practice by reaching out to those different than ourselves.
    Love it.

    Del

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It is great such topics are coming out of the closet as much in the church as in the secular world! Sets the path to overcoming misconceptions and brings healing. Thank you for this inspiring article, yes Christians are called to be different God bless

    Liked by 1 person

    • Deborah,
      Amen. The body of Christ is to be ONE. If we exclude and show bias within our own family, what does that say to the world that is watching?
      Thanks for joining the conversation and bringing up a relevant point about the church.
      Blessings to you and yours too!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You have described the problem of bias, even for Christians, perfectly here, Beckie! Ironically, my post planned for Friday touches on this subject, but speaks more to the problem of exclusion of others in a society. Still, the subjects ride in tandem, don’t they?
    Thank you for raising awareness of the bias trap into which we can too easily fall.
    Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Martha, I look forward to reading your post on Friday. Exclusion certainly does coincide with bias. Christ came for ALL of us and doesn’t want anyone to perish.
      Thanks for joining the conversation.
      Grace and peace.

      Like

  5. It’s so true that the first step in overcoming bias is to recognize we’ve sinned. Yes, we’re human and are going to fall into the same traps as the rest of the world, but we still have to recognize it as sin, ask forgiveness, and turn away from it by turning toward others with open hearts of love. Thanks, Beckie!

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    • Jean,
      It was an ah-ha moment when the Holy Spirit convicted me of looking within first when praying about the subject. I think if we’re honest, we recognize our propensity for bias.
      Blessings!

      Like

  6. Good article, Beckie. Jumping to conclusions without checking the facts often propels biases into a hard-line zone, better suited for arguments, debates, or even war, rather than communication. As Christian poets and writers we’re to communicate the forgiving love of Christ through Bible truths, accuracy, and love that really listens.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary, yes, we are to communicate the forgiving love of Christ with gentleness. When people know we truly care, they want to listen. Then we can share the truth of the Word.
      Thanks for commenting.

      Like

  7. Another very relevant and well-done blow against one of the most pernicious and destructive patterns confronting us today. You were wise to turn the spotlight on us who declare ourselves to be followers of Jesus, too. Pointing out that the problem raised its ugly head within those closest to him is clear evidence that the potential, if not the active tendency, resides in all of us.

    Thanks for your faithfulness, Beckie–keep dishing out the Truth and cranking up the Light.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ron, as I pondered this hot topic, the Holy Spirit convicted me of my own bias. If I want to be a part of the solution, I must look within first and let the Lord help me remove the plank out of my own eye.
    Thanks for taking the time to read, comment, and encourage. Blessings!

    Like

  9. Well written…it made me ponder love and focus. One, how as we grow in our relationship with God, in our love with him, we are more able to love others. Two, as I post much about, we are to live no matter who, no matter when, no matter where, no matter what. Three, how we approach others who are wrong…if it does not touch the person’s heart all our words fall short. If someone can convince you into something someone else can convince you out of it but if the Holy Spirit convicts you, you will not change. Four, we try to put things in our hands instead of holding our hands in prayer and trusting God over all.
    We are men and women of God we speak the truth and hit our mark with the sword of the word of God with precision. When we speak we do not swing it around as if blindfolded hitting a piniota.
    Becky this is an excellent article and is worded with great precision thatcan open up great conservations. Thank you.

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  10. Beckie so well said. Thank you! This issue is so important to me as one who ministers to the poor in my community. It’s so easy for us to get more caught up in our little worlds than realize there are people who are walked over, tossed aside, seen as less than. Honestly, sometimes I think so much of it is done unconsciously because most people like to be around people like them…I think James realized this to some extent. Then others just would rather not be bothered. But we are commanded first and foremost to Love God with all our heart, soul, and strength and love our neighbor…which in the story was a Samaritan (the most despised by the Jews). The reality is we fall short of this as Christians more often then we get it right. It’s a struggle. Thanks for reminding us of this very fact.

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    • Dawn, first of all, thank you for ministering to the poor in your community! I became aware of our local rescue mission a few years ago. It was literally life-changing, humbling and a full-on spiritual awakening for me. It made the words of James REAL: “But someone will say, ‘You have faith; I have deeds.’Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.” (James 2:18)

      You are so right, we fall short of this as Christians. However, with devotion to loving as Christ does, we can change!
      Thanks for taking the time to join the conversation.
      Grace and peace.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Leigh, thanks for taking the time to comment. I agree we must face that we all have biases. We must also bring them before the Lord and allow Him to give us the love and grace we need for others.
      Grace and peace!

      Like

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