Don’t Judge the Book by its Cover
Living in Central Louisiana is a great privilege for my family and me. I love the people and I am amazed about the potential of our community. I have met all kinds of people including the whites, the blacks, the Hispanics, the Asians, the middle eastern, the Jews, the Native Americans, the Africans, the Indians, the Croatians, the Czechians, etc. The reality is we are a very diverse community. No one group is 100% perfect, everyone has their own flaws, and still there is big value in diversity. I do wonder, however, if we are taking full advantage of our diversity. Today, I want to make few suggestions on how we can do better.
There are many people who are quite comfortable with the way things are. It is a dangerous thing to settle for being good when you have the potential to be great. The biggest drawbacks to community progress are poor mindset and lack of vision. We must see ourselves as God sees us. We are the head and not the tail. We are above and not beneath. (Deuteronomy 28:13). Our thinking must line up with our prophecy. And while it is true that we are making progress as a community, there is still room for improvement. We must continue to strive for community growth and we must become more aggressive in bringing people together for our common good. Central Louisiana possesses great potential and great opportunity to lead the entire state in many areas of life. So, we must be careful not become at ease in Zion. (Amos 6:1). We owe it to our children and the next generation to make the world a better place.
It should be the duty of every citizen not to be hurtful or hateful. No one should have to be rude or nasty to make a point. And although we all enjoy freedom of speech, it is insensitive to call anyone fat, chunky, obese or ugly. Likewise, there should be no room in our community for racial profiling. Just because a person can’t speak English does not make him or her an illegal alien. Just because a person has ten children does not mean he or she is living on welfare. And just because a person is black or Hispanic does not mean that he or she cannot afford to shop at Dillard’s. We must all learn to respect and honor one another instead of tearing each other down. It is not fair game to make fun of an elderly or the disabled. It is not right to turn blind eyes or deaf ears to someone in trouble when it is in your power to help. We are a community. We are in essence a family. Accordingly, we are all in this together to make a difference and make our world a better place. You don’t have to be a bully or a control freak. It is insensitive and inappropriate to make fun of a person who has HIV/AIDs or Ebola or stutter. We should be speaking up for the defenseless and standing up for those who have no voice in our society. We must avoid making laws targeting specific groups especially when the motive behind those laws is wrong. In short, institutional racism, insensitivity to others, name calling, community disunity are not of God. Jesus Christ is our role model. When people were hungry, he fed them. When people were sick, he healed them and when people were hopeless, he gave them hope. So, let us all do the right thing.
Another setback in any community is when deals are being made and the qualified people are not included in the deal. When professionals and business people are not invited to the table, there is a feeling of not belonging. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all truly and genuinely love one another? Can you imagine what a great community this would be if we learn to honor and respect one another? How about if we all work together? Churches that exclude people from participation will not grow. Likewise, a community that fails to embrace a genuine spirit of inclusion will not make much progress. There is no need to be afraid of one another. We should all be willing to come to the table and openly discuss issues, iron out our difference and work together to make our community great. In short, we must walk in love towards one another. Love is the greatest commandment. We are commanded to love God and to love our neighbors. (Matthew 22:37-39). Yet, our neighbors do not have to look or act like us before we love them. True and genuine love for people is not based on their race or religion. We must see people as people. After all, God made every nation of men and women from one dude. (Acts 17:26)
The good news is we are making progress as a community and we are capable of doing better. I am strongly convinced Central Louisiana is endowed by God to birth a spiritual revival that will be the gateway for the health and wealth of the entire state of Louisiana. In my heart, I believe Central Louisiana will be the model for the rest of the state and God will be glorified. One place to start is the use of our tongue. Words can hurt, words can kill, and words can have a lasting impact on people. Words have power. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all can begin to see people as people and not as fat, ugly, disabled, black, white, rich or poor? Just because a person is a stutterer, disabled, autistic, mentally ill or have HIV/AID or even Ebola does not make the person less of a person. May God give us the wisdom to move from being good to being great. Amen!