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Offering Grace to People Different From You

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
January 18, 2021 5:00 am

Offering Grace to People Different From You

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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January 18, 2021 5:00 am

In view of the heightened racial tension in our society, Dr. David Anderson offers insight and encouragement for how we can all help build bridges between races and bring peace, hope, and justice to our communities.

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Hi I'm Jim Daly are you struggling to make sense of all the chaos it's happening around us. It's time to come together to pray for our country.

Join with Focus on the Family on Inauguration Day.

Wednesday, January 20, to pray for our country for marriages, families, churches, and for unity with our fellow citizens subscribe to our YouTube channel and pray with us live at 10 AM Eastern time on prayer when the majority out to serve in a loving, non-arrogant way to the minority. What you're actually doing is you're standing up for them in your standing with if I would stand with you when you're going through struggles and you would stand with me when I'm going through struggles we would have division Dr. David Anderson joins us today on Focus on the Family and her hostess focus Presidente and Dr. Jim Daly, thanks for joining us I'm John Fuller, John, today we remember, honor and celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the peaceful legacy he established in terms of civil rights.

As you know, 20, 20 sans escalation in violence and riots bringing the subject of racism back into the headlines in our everyday conversation. You know Dr. King's legacy is more important than ever for even though it's been many years since his death more than 50 years ago he gave his iconic I have a dream speech in a painting of vision for the United States that someday we might be able to live out its creed that all men are created equal and that were measured by the content of our character, not the color of our skin that he also described his hope that the different races will join hands as brothers and sisters. That's a great vision for the future. That's what God would call his people to do. And while we've made some great strides toward equality. There's a long way to go, and I'm grateful that we can address this topic on this day again.

Dr. Anderson is the founder and senior pastor of Bridgeway community church located in Maryland and is the host.

The daily radio talkshow. Real talk with Dr. David Anderson. He and his wife Amber have three adult children and he's written a number of books in the one really dialing into today is called racism. The art of inclusion and we've got that the episode notes have the details David, welcome to Focus on the Family, so good to be with you. Jim and John, that's good to have you mentioned that you listen to folks but have visited the campus. I'm excited that you're here. It's so good to be here in the studio in the ministry that focuses that for so many years and decades been a blessing all around the world something today that I do want to get into this I mean this is such a in some ways delicate discussion, but we need to be open about, especially as believers in Jesus right when you look at the division in the country along all these different lines erases only one, but social economic division, rich and poor and in so many others. What do you think as a pastor what he thinks going on some of this is as old as human beings. Right now you know what it what you think.

Today looks like a spiritual when you know they said 11 AM on a Sunday morning is the most segregated hour of the week.

Glad that that's not true at Bridgeway and many other churches are moving in that direction. I'm so grateful and we have over 60 different nations that come together it's a beautiful multicultural minister, let me ask you why that is.

I think you know I've been to both churches that were in the multiracial church now pastor Al Pittman near Colorado Springs. He was my pastor in the South in the town and but but we say that issue of segregation is the demographics or is it the people are going out of their way not to mix with other people that don't look like them yet. I think the separation of church is happened based out of slavery right and so then when African-American churches finally came burst out of that.

That's we got the initial separation and then of course when other ethnic groups come they want to come together to try to learn not only about Christ.

But how do they integrate and assimilate into American society. So the initial divisions of course came out of out of slavery. Probably remember and knew this, that you know there was one hour out of the week that slaves could be by themselves and that was when their white masters went to church so that's what's with that black connection took place and then as we move forward.

They were able to be in the back of the church with their white masters and so that was their religion for a while but then there was pain.

They are in there like to start your own thing. So that's what AME church started and and so all of the kind has started that way when you think about what God's vision for the church is way before America.

We know that on the very first day of the very first church.

It was a multicultural, multiethnic explosion of God's spirit empowered by the Holy Spirit to worship Jesus Christ over 3000 men, at least that's recorded that state that day and that was the beginning of the church itself that was God's vision and it was in the first century what happened at 2021 centuries after that we scooted out this is always God's desire hasn't been a beautiful picture of that first church service that eases that leading the way there.

Actually that's good you grew up in a community where race didn't seem to be an issue in that I do believe in Maryland have in Maryland. It was very multicultural run once a base was an issue I would say because you had so many different people living in the metropolitan area you didn't have some of the same issues that you might have if you go to Chicago and I went to Chicago to get a Bible scary segregated and that was the contract I dig pain back. What was that difference I can and paint a picture for what you know when I was in Prince Georges County, Maryland where I sorta grew up in outside of DC you had black people report like people were rich black people were middle-class, as is normal, educated at mom and dad like meat that was normal for me so I wasn't so special right and my friends weren't so special, so every body, white, black, Asian, Hispanic, or at all the different strata so you didn't pigeonholed it a black person must report that there is more comfortableness maybe was everybody Chicago and I'm back at this place called Moody Bible Institute whined about you becoming the first black president of the student body and of the board and all that but before then I was scared to go to this all-white school and all the girls are going to have long long dresses and big for classes and I think and accept these all my stereotype. I got there was in the middle of the city people were cool guys wearing jams and sunglasses on how okay so all-white that you don't get out of your own environment so you have stereotypes of the stereotypes of you, but the difference demographically. Jim and John was. It was very segregated based on migration.

Everything else within the lowest of the poor right were in that Chicago area so you identify poor, with black and so can I come along you're special you're different. Not from where it came from. Maybe from what your experience, it has so much of it is context is and that is surely let's move to you but graces and I love the title, you should be proud of but described what overarching theme you're wanting to achieve.

I mean, the title probably says that what is graces them all about its two words a bad word in a good word to come together and create a new word and concept that merges that word is racism, which is to speak after think negatively about someone else solely based on the color class a culture so to speak, act or think about someone else negatively solely based on the color classical and we have grace. What a beautiful concept just to say it is good right graces that unmerited favor from God. We don't deserve it. We don't earn it. We can't repay it is right and so we put those two words together, you get good racism which is a positive extension of favorite other people, regardless of maybe sometimes even because of their color class or culture slits extending favor and I say the G stands for God. You put God in front of any problem he'll give you the solution to it and the strength to get through it so I believe that racism is God's solution to racism and all comes out of a first Corinthians 12 passage that I was studying one to give it to us. What's the passage the passage talks about one body with many members that passage in first Corinthians 12 that I read I study that movie but it just never hit me. The way it hit me. This one morning when the apostle Paul is about to talk about the differences in the distinctions of spiritual gifts. But then Paul doesn't really weird thing like any preacher. He has a point. But now he wants to back up with a picture so you can see it. So now he makes his point around verse 12 or something. Then he gives a picture. It's like one body with many members okay great analogy. Paul is about to explain it.

He inserts almost a verse of them seem to make sense. He's he enters race and class and culture right in the context of spiritual gifts. I always thought that that whole passage about spiritual gifts, but he mentions analogy in verse 12. Then in verse 14 he starts saying how could I say to the foot. I don't need you out years later and all that so that's verse 12 in verse 14 he picks up what happens in 1313 he enters race and culture Jews or Greeks, slave or free, were all given the one Spirit to drink.

So now we start reading that passage about the body. How can I say to you I don't need you can hand save the foot. I don't need you. God is coming behind the parts of the body as he designed you start reading that passage through that lens. All of a sudden this type mind alignment. How can I say white man I don't need you as a black man.

I don't need you can hand save the foot need you to make you less part of the body and into the rest of that passage, he just opens it up with these terms that say this is how were supposed to love one another careful one another. Honor one another, so he actually gives us the answer on how to be one, even though we have many different members is totally cool.

You once received an email from a woman who had a graces attitude or experience while waiting in line to board an airplane. What what give us that kind of experience was at BWI Baltimore-Washington International Airport, I wasn't there but she was and she writes me this email basically sand.

It was this long line there is a Hispanic family maybe two or three or four of them, something like that and they were trying to get into the line they were trying to communicate with her English wasn't very well. She was frustrated in line with this Latino family and she remembered reading racism and she realized that if I'm going to be the graces right gets extending to people who are different than the and so she extended favor and said listen you guys can just come right here in front of me and let me say this is the direction you need to go to. She was able to be helpful to them because she had experienced the concept of grace is the pastor let me ask you the first thing of graces is I will lift you up and you have these enough at seven sand seven sayings of a graces set right and so that with that one is I will lift you up. Have you experienced that with your own church and how can we lift others up as we go about our day. You know, the apostle Paul says that lifting one another rot before going to talk about how to extend favorite other people. One of the ways to do that is to lift others up. I remember when I went to England for the very first time I was in the airport there and I was asking someone how I find the elevator and images, looking at me weird for a minute and realizing that they're pointing to something they say we call the lift and when I learned that day.

That's what I want to be.

I want to be a lifter in people's life. When people step into the elevator of my life. I want to be able to lift them up to a higher plane that sometimes you come people space in a take it down but if you're graces you want to always lift people up. So that's the first standard principle is asking for practical example because I want people to catch this.

This is really important stuff. So in terms of lifting people up. What would be an example of that what you could look for throughout the day, the first of I think we cannot use our words right encouragement yeah you can with people with your words. Think about how you speak you know the Scriptures tell us we speak with wholesome words and we all speak words that build up so it's biblical that we speak words that build people up. So then how can I build someone up that's different to make a different color, a different class a different culture, a different background of graces and is about extending favor to other people because of maybe even in spite of the color classic culture so the gray sister in the room is not thinking about how can only lift the people that I like the people that are different than me. I like the second saying I will cover you because it comes with a bit of a humorous story about your wife. I giggled when I read this in the book it was funny what happened. I will cover you yeah so I will lift you comes from that phrase. A special honor, but I will cover you comes from the phrase in the text.

Special modesty covering is really about a sense of modesty and it needs to really protect the most vulnerable among us from embarrassment or from harm.

But I think the story you're laughing about is my wife go out somewhere.

My wife puts on the stress of messy parades and from there we think about this honey. I looked at him like baby that looks really really good. I think that that is a stay at home dressed in other words, my covering her is saying that that's something that I should be saying, probably not something other people to be saying and she wanted that feedback and I'm glad I was honest with her because actually we laughed about it yet but it gave her a compliment at the same time, you look great.

I love it good for me to see. Probably not good for others to see what was I doing I was covering her or shielding her from embarrassment or or harming that's a great great analogy is saying three is I will share with you what what is that that so that comes from the phrase in first is 12, Paul says, there's no need for special treatment, and so the idea of sharing is opening up your networks and resources to others who are systematically downtrodden and refusing special treatment that may hurt them and so it's not like I don't like special treatment, but I'm not take special treatment I'm gonna refuse special treatment if it's on the backs of other people and it actually hurts them, but sharing is a cool thing instead of me saying I want that special treatment. A better way to say it is. You know what, how can I get them in as well to help them as well so it's not just taking a piece of the pie think to give you peace of my pot. It's actually sent how can I open up my networks in such a way that you can also have a whole pie here so that sounds like a spirit of generosity relates generosity is a beautiful spirit absolutely saying not am I just going to give to you, but I can open up my network so that you can actually what I love the call grace and Onyx you can actually use your grace to help the economics of other people so they can succeed as well.

That is so good. You share for easy ways to honor people. I think some people may say that doesn't sound easy, because of the reason you just noted in our time commitment that Ray stretched, but I think this rolls right in saying number four which is I will honor you.

What are those for easy ways, ways that honor people first bought you have to have a honorable mindset to say you know what I do actually want to honor people and the phrase in the passage is greater honor like it actually says it.

God is going to give greater honor to those who may not deserve it. While so God is saying there certain groups of people were on presentable parts for certain groups of people may be lacking status and so what I'm going to do is to give greater honor to those people.

So when we think about who are the silent servants who were the people that are working before we shop to the mics with the people were cleaning the campuses with the people were setting up the chairs who are the hidden heroes. We are looking for people that we can honor because they are not going to be prominent to get the honor that we might get because maybe more on the stager were preaching on really think that's about you and I know all of us know it takes a lot of people to pull these kinds of things off hunting us an intention on think about those who have less honor and amenable less than someone always identifying people who are hidden heroes or silent servants. And then we crossed that the gender line and the color line in the class line. Now you're really like Christ because you're honoring people who may not have that same honor that you have so I think that's one of the ways you identify it you can serve them. You can lift them up with your with your voice, but I think also a sense of stewardship where you said you know what my time is important. My money is well earned, but because God has been so gracious to give me this time, and to give me these resources I am going to think through how I could ask honor other people with it. We have small little hidden group generosity group that no one really knows about except the people oriented in either the genesis of it was people coming to pass that money to give to you that these go to someone else but I don't know. It needs to go to find out who could use this money pray about him like I know exactly could use it and that somebody else did it completely separated them. Even only a person up and pass at $500. Do you know a single mom who could use a pass $1000. Do you have a little that could you yeah and so I became the conduit to that blessing to other people and they would do it anonymously and in the Lord, but the idea in my mind, these people would like to get to know one another. This is all happening during the beginning of COBIT is uncommon in additional people, and it is people didn't know one another but they're all doing the same thing, but maybe the spirit of the Lord was working and he was so this group came together, and within three months.

This group had given out over $30,000 in mainly small gifts you know a thousand year 500 here maybe a 2000 there generously anonymously.

Why because they want honor people and not get the credit well is an amazing edit suite. That's what the Scriptures about as we doing is really no one knows who these people are and I love every minute of it is saying. Five. I want to try to hit these we got a few minutes left. I will stand with you. I mean this perhaps is the greatest demonstration of what Jesus is done for all of us standing with you was that look like you pause measuring the racial contact you and Paul mentions division hearing since there is that there be no division in the body of the majorities to help the minority and the stronger needs to help the weaker it keeps us from having division in the body reason why we have so much division is because we're not standing with one another and so were supposed to stand up for the needy were supposed to speak up for the voiceless as a focus on the family has done for decades and was supposed to come behind people and try to make sure that we care for them. You know Jesus again was a crisis and he reached out to the poor to the prisoner to the disabled to be oppressed and what happens is when the majority reaches out to serve in a loving, non-arrogant way to the minority. What you're actually doing is your standing up for them in your standing with them if I would stand with you when you're going through struggles and you would stand with me when I'm going through struggles we would have division but what happens is in Christianity, even this. The sad part is that a standing with one another to understand against one another that which doesn't build trust doesn't build trust.

It creates division and we are the only living organism on the face of the planet that can bring people into a loving relationship with God and we are divided ourselves in Jesus is if you love one another than the world will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. So when I stand up for you and with you. I'm actually demonstrating love and when you have your moment you go through your divorce. You go through your child's death. You go through your parents having dementia, and I stand with you and guess what I'm but have my moment. You can remember that I stood with and that you're going to stand with me a question is anything to break that division because now standing with one another in standing up for one another, as opposed to standing against one it's it's a good word six is I will consider you I think you have a conversation with Harvey that illustrates this. What what was that, you was kind about Baltimore Harbor. I was walking by one day Psalms on the bench next to just took a moment to just talk to him unites want to know about his homelessness.

I want to know about his background.

He said he used to be a lawyer and he told me I had a divorce crazy like you don't have the education and no teeth know this is who was but now Psalms and this homeless man is sitting on a park bench on a harbor bench and so to be able to sit there with them and talk to him when we were all done, you know with us for the money earned my number. Whatever we do exchange numbers but when he said to me when we parted with.

I think the thing that made the most impact on me and what he said was the fact that you just stopped and talked to me and saw me as really change my life.

Thank you so much dignity dignity and the phrase here in the text of first grievance 12 is equal concern for one another, not as surrogate and then seven I will celebrate you and that's an exciting one.

Describe what that means to celebrate a person we usually talk about suffering with those who suffer and that's in the text, but the technique he also said in this passage the apostle Paul.

Rejoice with those who rejoice nice and think it was harder to suffer for with people who suffer agreed with those who grieve. Actually I think it's harder to celebrate and rejoice with others when they have a win. In other words, if you're grieving the loss of something I can empathize, sympathize, and come down to your level. I'm still in the power position. I'm so sorry you're going through that he let me hug him, so you lost your job right okay so I can suffer with you, but I'm still kinda coming down to a place of pain where you are and I'm not but to rejoice major up right and so gracious.

As you know what if something happened well for your community group for your racial group for your ethnic group, for whatever here you are and you are experiencing. If something well happened to say congratulations.

Yeah, I'm going to not be a good loser. That's not the idea it's much more like you know that same God that blesses me just blessed. You even agree with everything that is happening. I'm going to celebrate this win for you yesterday that I mean you have described it, and that I think people need to get the bike now right I should go invoice gravity value and racist grace that I wanted I want to be like God was the biggest gracious about all and I think you guys agrees is now. I love it as simple principles, but I like that idea of building trust with other people. I mean that's what he gets down to and there's too much distrust into many caricatures and stereotypes that go on all sides, and I hope we can begin to turn that corner, we have made significant ground but there's more ground make and I think it really rests in what you have put forward here those next steps to get to a higher level in a better level closer to God's heart is gone is all founded in the Scriptures, and so hopefully when people get the book also going to first Corinthians 12 really dig for themselves what homework is. I think I get it yet. We would love people to read that scripture communicate with us.

Let us know what you think and get a copy of Pastor David's wonderful book graces him to finish it out and figure out how to do the seven things well and that Davis is been great happy with this. Thank you so much.

Thank you for your graciousness and love you Jan and you John God bless you and let me turn the listener the heart behind David's message is rooted in a solid relationship with Jesus and we want to start there. I mean if you don't have that foundation only. That's our main goal at Focus on the Family we are a Christian family, organization, and we want should have that relationship with Christ because so much falls in place when you get that right so call us if you have questions were were big folks here. We can take it.

If you have concerns or doubts.

It's okay. We want to talk to you about who Jesus is and what his claims are and what life is like when you make that commitment to him is not about rules. It's about loving your creator and so many good things flow from that including graces him and we hope you'll get in touch with us for that very important discussion and then also if you can make a gift of any amount or can afford it will get in your hands. Pastor David's wonderful book graces and just get in touch with others will cover the cost of that are hidden supporters to that will cover that you have.

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You need want the bucket will get it to you if you can make a donation for any amount will send it to you as our way of saying thank you.

Donate. As you can or call us if you'd like to get a hold of one of our counselors to talk through what it means to enter into a life-giving relationship with Jesus Christ our numbers 800 K and work-family were stopped by the episode notes for more than half of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back once again help you and your family thrive in Christ. January is sanctity of human life, month, and you can join Focus on the Family as we love every heart with you.

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