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MELANIN…is a pigment that gives human skin, hair and eyes their color. Dark-skinned people have more melanin in their skin than light-skinned people have. Cells called melanocytes produce melanin. It provides some protection against skin damage from the sun and helps protect us from ultraviolet rays. May I have a show of hands of the people that knew this?
Based on my earlier school studies I remember that there are five distinct colors of people. I believe there are white, black, red, yellow and brown. And of course there are varying shades of all of those. Most of these color distinctions have been brought about by climate, places where people live, diet and other outside influences. I propose that these differences are for the protection of all people from externals.
So, if this is the case, and it is, this melanin has been provided by our Creator God for our good. Then why on earth have we used it as a division, considering one color less than the other? Could it be more of an attitude of the heart than simply the amount of melanin in a person’s body, causing a different coloring of the skin than ours? Most of the people in the Middle East have the same amount of melanin. And yet the Sunnis and the Shiites and the Jews continue to war against each other after thousands of years. Maybe it’s more of an ideology or a cultural thing than really about our skin color.
The strangest thing about all of us is that when we are cut or injured, the skin opens up, no matter the color, and bleeds red. When Jesus Christ was on the cross and they drove nails into his body, jammed the crown of thorns into his head and thrust the spear into his side, he was shedding red blood for every race, creed and color. I don’t see anywhere in scripture where he looked down from the cross and made a distinction based on skin color. To him, it was Jew and Gentile-that by the way includes everyone. For Jesus, All Lives Mattered! So, why do we, and very importantly, why do we/I as Christians, of all people, show prejudice and bias? It is obviously more than that which meets the eye. As I alluded to earlier, it is not an eye problem but a heart problem.
Testimony: I grew up in a small middle Tennessee town that was basically segregated. As a kid I saw and heard the words coloreds and whites. The distinctions were everywhere: restrooms, drinking fountains, buses, restaurants, schools, even churches. I remember my mother telling me one time; don’t you ever let me hear you say the N-word. She grew up during the depression, picked cotton with black men, women and children, had worked with them in her restaurant and on the farm, so she was integrated in a world that was declared segregated by culture, and even by laws.
This shaped my early world-view. I remember Martin Luther King, Jr. At first, I was angry because of my upbringing and my poor heart attitude. Today, I consider him one of the greatest heroes in American history. Is my heart pure yet? Has America completely embraced his dream yet? The answer is no, but by God’s grace it is happening.
Jesus said:
“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Lk. 6:45).
So, it appears that we need some good old-fashioned spiritual heart surgery. I believe they call that repentance. And as hard as it is to address, it is not the heart of someone else, it begins in your own hearts. OUCH!
“How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Lk. 6:42).
Listen to Peter in Acts:
“He said to them: you are well aware that it is against the law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean” (v.10:28).
Christians of all colors in America, heed the words of Jesus:
“Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you” (Rev. 3:3).
Sobering words. Will YOU take them to heart? Much rides on each of our decisions.
Copyright 2016
Life Speaks to Us
Bill C. Dotson
Scripture taken from New International Version


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