One night after attending a very intense spiritual renewal, I went to grab a bite to eat at a very popular restaurant to digest everything I learned and experienced.
When I dine alone I usually sit at the bar, not for the alcohol but for the conversation. An older white male sat next to me with full Alabama gear on. Me being me, I strike up a conversation. A few minutes into the conversation he tells me he is a “good ole prejudice redneck”. Hmmm, how do I respond to that? Me being me, I keep talking about everything under the sun. He was very engaged in the conversation, especially when we started to talk about sales (his profession). Long story short I told him what I did for a living and he was very intrigued.
Then he turned around and said, as a business coach there is a man in here you will want to meet. This “good ole prejudice redneck” introduced me to the Vice President to the owner of three different major corporations that support his 14 restaurants. We talked for 15 minutes about employee engagement and how to foster loyalty to promote healthy culture. I had no idea the owner of this popular franchise chain owned the companies that also supply his food and transportation.
Moral of the story! Because I did not allow the label “prejudice redneck” to intimidate me into shrinking back, being angry, taking offense or being anything other than myself I made some really good business connections. Met a great guy who gave me a tip or two on how to sell to good ole rednecks.
I’ve always believed that racism and prejudice are the other person’s problem, not mine. Every time I encounter someone who believes the stereotypes about black people, it is an opportunity for me to break that stereotype by simply being me: loving, caring, intelligent and sociable. You define you! Don’t let the ill beliefs or behaviors of others force you to behave in a way that is contrary to who you want to be in life. I am not going to be the stereotypical “Anger Black Woman”. Trust me, I have been her before and I am really good at it, but I refuse to be her again.
I don’t have anything to prove to anybody. I have a one man audience and because of His love pumping in my heart, I am free to love everyone and they don’t have to love me back. Their rejection of me doesn’t define me. Matter of fact, their rejection of me simply drowns in the ocean of love surrounding my heart.
What rejection can you send to me that the love of God can’t send away from me?
I don’t have to prove to racist people that I am good enough, smart enough or equal to them. I lay that battle at the feet of my Daddy. This gives me room to be me despite others and hate has no room to attach to my heart.
Are there times when loving the unlovable is hard to carry out? Absolutely but I would rather struggle to love the hard to love than to get comfortable in hating those who hate me. Hate runs so deep it hurts the soul. If you allow it, it will impact every area of your life. There are some of you right now so consumed with fighting off the racism and prejudice of America that it has depleted you of joy and filled you with anger. Simply refuse to allow the actions of some to make you paint a wide sweeping brush over an entire race of people. Take everyone at face value. Wait for their actions to show you who they truly are and when you see it act accordingly.
LOVE NEVER FAILS!!!!
I have to pray and trust Jesus to protect me from those that seek to harm me because of my skin color, just like I pray and trust Jesus to keep me safe from fatal car accidents as I travel on the highways. Hatred isn’t new to Jesus. He displays the antidote to hate on the cross of Calvary. His love for those who sinned and hated Him nailed Him to the cross. He overcame by love and so will we!
Check out this song by Seth & Nirva featuring GabeReal, Brother Open Up Our Eyes.