It is easy to put labels on people. It has become so common that we do it without even recognizing it. Labels may seem harmless, but they can hurt when they negatively influence our actions toward others.
There is so much discrimination in the world today that it is hard to read the news without seeing stories of hate and violence because of prejudice. But we know that discrimination isn’t entirely a new thing. It has been there for ages, including that experienced by members of the early Church.
An example of which can be seen in Apostle Paul’s letter to Timothy:
But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me.
-2 Timothy 3:10-11
The verses above tell us of the persecutions that Paul has endured in his discipleship; but they also tell us of God’s great deliverance. “And out of them all the Lord delivered me.”
The people of God, then and now, have undergone many challenges and difficulties due to discrimination. Discrimination may come, yet there is deliverance waiting. God gives us comfort in His word:
Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
– Matthew 5:11-12 (NKJV)
As God’s followers, we are assured by the promises of God in heaven. Some of us may experience discrimination because of our beliefs and practices, but none of it should not make our faith falter. In fact, it should push us to strengthen our faith because we are showing others the essence of our faith and what it means to be a christian.