Day after day, it was always the same. The routine was simple: roll call at 7, to the mess hall at 7:30 for breakfast, and a full day of chores starting at 8. Such was the life of the prisoners in Ward 7 at the state penitentiary. The only socialization afforded the prisoners came during the half hour in the mess hall every morning.
The men bonded as they related their experiences to one another. A man serving a 10-year sentence for the possession and illegal trafficking of drugs sat beside another man serving a 70-year sentence on charges of rape and attempted murder. Men from all races were present at the prison compound. Some had come from wealthy families. Others had lived in poverty. There in Ward 7, the nature of their crimes and their social differences made no difference. There was no place for discrimination. No one could say he was better than any of his counterparts. They were equally guilty because of their failure to comply with the laws of the land.
Ever since Cain became bitter toward Abel because God accepted Abel’s sacrifice and rejected his own, there has been discrimination. Discrimination is simply treating a person differently because of certain factors (i.e., race, financial status, occupation, and national origin). Such conduct is intolerable for members of the body of Christ.
We ought never to look down upon another person. Period. If he is a believer, regardless of his appearance, actions, nationality, or possessions, he is our brother in Christ. If the person is not a believer, we should have compassion upon him so as to win him to our Savior. Remember that God loves all people, and so must we.
Yes, God cares if we discriminate. Do you treat some people better than others? Are you willing to befriend a person of another race? Do you look down on a person who doesn’t have your financial wherewithal? Pray that God would help you overcome your prejudices with His love today.
It is never too late to give up your prejudices. — Henry David Thoreau
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.