All People Are Created Equal
by Annagail Lynes
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Discrimination is a widespread problem in this country. When they seek jobs, senior citizens have been discriminated against because of their age. Several religions discriminate against women who want to be ministers. And some restaurants still discriminate against people on the color of their skin.
Throughout history, the African-Americans have been enslaved, killed and even arrested for being black. The Jews were enslaved by an Egyptian Pharoh, and Hilter murdered them in gas chambers. WHY DO PEOPLE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST OTHER PEOPLE?
There are a lot of reasons why people discriminate, but fear, anger and frustration top the list. If the people have a bad experience with one person from a race, they may assume the entire race is the same. For instance, if a black woman is raped by a white man, she may become afraid of all white men. If a person becomes frustrated trying to find a job because the employers would rather hire immigrants sneaking over the border, he might hate all Hispanics. Others are taught by their parents that one race is superior to another.
WHAT DO YOU IF YOU FEEL ANGRY TOWARD ANOTHER RACE, RELIGION, GENDER, ETC?
First, you must recognize your angry feelings. Do you go into a rage? Is your anger out of control? Does your family run when you start yelling? This is not the time to figure out whether your feelings are reasonable. Evaluate how upset you are. Write out why you feel the way you do. What triggered it?
Until you have thoroughly thought out a potential action, it is better to refrain from acting on your anger. In Proverbs 29:11, the Living Bible says, "A rebel shouts in anger; a wise man holds his temper in and cools it."
It is perhaps better to isolate yourself by taking a walk or going into your bedroom. When you are alone, tell God about your problems in detail and from the bottom of your heart. God understands you better than you understand yourself. He knows what you should do and can offer you advice you never thought of. Just talk to Him as if you were talking to a friend.
After you have talked with God, you can start to identify the cause of your anger. Ask yourself "What is the primary feeling that is leading to these angry feelings," "What is being threatened?," and "Is your anger legitimate?".
Then decide what course of action to take. Make sure it is an action where you are able to handle your anger constructively. Punching someone out or telling a someone off is not handling your anger appropriately. Confront people when you feel it is necessary.
Sometimes you have to decide whether it would be beneficial to the other person if you confronted them.
Ephesians 4:26 says "In your anger do not sin..." From this, apparently anger is not a sin. How we react to our anger is. Many times I have been angry, very angry, with God. I tried to write in a journal to help me focus my anger. I found that the release of punching a pillow or putting my thoughts down on paper helped me to redirect those angry feelings.
Being angry is not a sin. Having angry thoughts is not a sin. Acting on those feelings by harming yourself or someone else is.
Before trying counseling, find a good friend who will let you use him as a sounding board. Someone you can call day or night, who will listen to you about your problems and feelings. Promise to do the same for that person at some future time.
If you can't find a friend to "vent" to, buy a journal. Some people find writing out their feelings in a private place where no one else will see it helpful. I personally write my journal entries as prayers to God. Or write a letter to the object of your anger. Write everything you want to tell that person. After you are done, either rip it up or put it through a paper shredder. I do not suggest sending it to that person.
You might wait a few days before talking with that person. By then, your anger will have cooled off. If you realize, after those few days, that you could have been wrong, admit it and compromise, if necessary.
When nothing else seems to work, seek counseling. Perhaps your pastor could counsel you or refer you to someone who can. Try to get to a Christian counselor. One who is a mature believer. He will also need to be a good listener. A person who does not necessarily solve your problems for you.
Anger is a normal, healthy emotion, but if you feel your anger is out of control, if it has impacted your relationships and important parts of your life, you should seek counseling to learn how to handle your anger better.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN SOMEONE HAS DISCRIMINATED AGAINST YOU?
We read in the Amplified Version of Matthew 22:39, "You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself." I would treat others like I treated myself.
I would tell people who hurt me what I thought of them, and am still sometimes, sharp-tongued. Since I hated myself, I carried an attitude around with me that everyone was out to hurt me.
I had grown up in church, and I knew that unforgiveness could eat you up inside and cause both physical and emotional problems, but I said to myself, "I don't have any unforgiveness."
One night, though, God laid it heavy on my heart to read an article on the Internet by Charles Stanley called "Experiencing Forgiveness." I did and realized that unforgiveness was running wild in my life.
I sat down with a pen and a pad of paper, as Charles Stanley suggested, and asked the Holy Spirit to bring to my mind those people that I needed to forgive.
The dam broke, and I could hardly write fast enough to keep up with all the names that were coming to my mind. People I hadn't thought of in years.
I imagined the person sitting on the couch opposite me. I told him why I was upset with him--everything I could think of--then I made a conscious decision to forgive him and to release the bitterness. Then I asked God to forgive me for holding unforgiveness in my heart toward him.
Matthew 6:15 says "But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. "
This shows how important it is to forgive, if we want God to forgive us. Even after you forgive someone by faith and give the matter to God, you may still feel angry toward that person. It is not that you haven't forgiven him, it is just that your feelings haven't conformed to your decision yet. In time, your feelings will catch up. Your feelings are not an accurate judge of what is true.
In the meantime, Matthew 5:44 (KJV) gives us this advice, "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you."
In God's eyes, we are all beautiful. No matter the color, age or religion. If God loves us all the same, shouldn't we try to as well?
I am not in the Private Messenger. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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