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Unstuck - Overcoming the Pain of Prejudice, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
January 24, 2024 5:00 am

Unstuck - Overcoming the Pain of Prejudice, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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January 24, 2024 5:00 am

Have you ever been denied an opportunity, or refused a fair hearing, or even lost a job based on the color of your skin, your gender, your age, your religious beliefs, maybe even your weight? If so, you know the sting of being pre-judged or prejudice. When prejudice happens to you, how do you respond? Chip walks us through how we can overcome that pain.


Have you ever been denied an opportunity, or refused a fair hearing, or even lost a job based on the color of your skin, your gender, your age, your religious beliefs, or maybe even your weight? If so, you know the sting of being prejudged, of prejudice. What do you do when prejudice happens to you? How do you respond? How do you overcome that pain?

How do you keep it from poisoning your soul? Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. The mission of these daily programs is to intentionally disciple Christians through the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram. And boy, Chip's addressing a big hot button issue as we dive back into his series, Unstuck.

Whether it's racial, cultural, or religious, prejudice can leave us with scars that may never fully heal. So today, Chip's going to help us biblically respond to bias and intolerance. But before he gets going, let me encourage you to use Chip's message notes while you listen. They'll help you get the most out of what you're about to hear. Download them under the broadcasts tab at

App listeners, tap fill in notes. Well, if you have a Bible, go now to Ephesians chapter 2, starting in verse 11, as we join Chip with his message, Overcoming the Pain of Prejudice. Lean back if you will, feel free to even close your eyes if you feel the freedom. I want to walk through some prisons that we're in. And as I do, all I want you to do in the next three or four minutes is ask yourself, which of these invisible chains might have me? Though there's no orange jumpsuits that tell us you're a prisoner, some are trapped in the pain of your past. You're in the solitary confinement that's not Sam Quinton, but you're trapped in the prison of self-hatred, of a warped self-image. Others are doing time in superficial relationships and feel lonely and unloved because you secretly vowed never to be rejected again. For others, you're held captive by the fears of the future.

The shattered dreams of your past have convinced you to play it safe. And so now you play a very boring role, safe, mundane activities because you don't want to get hurt again. Some of us are prisoners of our perfectionism and our zeal to prove by our performance and appearance that, well, we're really a somebody. And other people are prisoners of your dysfunctional family that taught you that you have to learn and you have to earn your love and that your worth has to be proven.

And your life experiences, no matter how hard you try, you never really feel like you measure up. We're all prisoners to one degree or another of the pain of our past, but God brought us together to remind us that you don't have to remain stuck in it. It is tragic, but some of the patterns of thinking and some of the ways that you've been so ingrained with, you're a prisoner. And to think of the sorrow it brings Christ when he says, I died in your place. I rose from the grave.

My spirit is deposited in you and you are free. And whether it's thinking you don't measure up or thinking you have to perform or thinking that your family has destined you to this kind of life and you're a second class citizen or you've been through pain or you've been through a separation or your kids haven't turned out and you feel like you're a failure or you're wrestling with an addiction, God says there's hope. And we have to believe and apply what's true.

And trying hard doesn't bring about change. It's renewing your mind and allowing the Spirit of God to take your warped self image to you believing in your heart that you are special and valued and love and chosen. By taking the rejection that you've experienced and believing that every moment of every day, regardless of what anyone has ever told you or what you've experienced, that Jesus looks at you, that the Father looks at you through the blood of his Son and he says you are accepted.

I love you today as much as I will ever love you apart from anything you could ever do. And it's exchanging that shattered dream and believe there's a certain hope and that life really is more than just about this little window of time and expectations and the real dream is a real hope of a real God and there's a real heaven and the real God of the real heaven who created all that there is, created the planet, took on human flesh, died personally in your place, rose from the dead, is preparing a place for you and says come. And there are no guarantees that this little window called time on earth is going to be a happy camper's experience and you're going to have personal peace and prosperity and everything's going to go great. In fact, some of the greatest saints and the most loved people are entrusted with unbearable suffering that the fragrance of Christ might pour forth from their life as we watch and wonder how in the world did they make it through. And finally, we exchange our dysfunctional family for a brand new family, the family of God that's thicker and deeper than blood.

And to do that we have to take off our mask, believe who we are in Christ, share openly and honestly our hurts and let the gifts of the body and the love of the body of Christ, let Jesus show up in your life through the life of other people. When our time together today, we're going to look at the pain of prejudice because some people are prisoners of suspicion and hate and isolation. There's been people in your past that have made you feel bad or small or stupid or unacceptable and they made you feel that way because of how you look or how you talk or where you came from or how you don't look. There's others that have become the prisoners of our culture and upbringing and since you were little kids you learned that certain people are unlovely because they come from that denomination or that part of the country or that part of the world or they have that color of skin or they talk that way. And it was just part of your upbringing and you have a set of glasses and lens that you don't want to have, God doesn't want you to have but it's so deeply ingrained that unconsciously you are prejudiced of certain people and when you see them you make snap judgments about what kind of people they are based on things that have nothing to do with who they really are but about how they look and how they dress or what they drive or what you perceive people with tattoos and piercings look like or what you assume that people with the little penny loafers and the polo shirts must be like. We categorize people, you know, the guy's got a Bentley or a BMW or this, well they must be that kind of person and they broke down, you know, the Volkswagen with the peace sign and the long Rastafarian hair, well they must be that kind of person.

Well guess what, you're probably wrong and I'm probably wrong. And well if they come from this kind of denomination or this kind of background, we know they all believe that and they're kind of like that and they're sort of warped and we're kind of in and they're kind of out. And the weird part is that every group does that to one another, even in the body of Christ. And so we receive the pain and you feel isolated and so we go into relationships suspicious. There's so many conversations that happen when you go to church or go to a group or meet some people and with the person that you trust either in the car or late at night as you sit up and lean against the bed and you talk about other people. In fact it's the conversation of most coffee shops. Most coffee shops conversations are not two people talking to one another about what's going on in them. Most conversations are two people talking about some other person that's not there.

And about the boss who's unfair or the ex who did that or the person who did that. My kid has given me trouble and God wants us to know there is a pain that occurs from prejudice and he wants us to be delivered from the prison of receiving prejudice and he wants us to be free of being a prisoner of extending prejudice to other people. Prejudiced or prejudgment is a judgment or opinion formed before the facts are known. It's the act of prejudging another person's value, worth, significance or suitability for inclusion within a group based on appearance, race, cultural background, speech, nationality, gender, geography or personal history.

I mean that's just Webster's. Before we dig in and solve the problem, there's a couple questions I'd like to ask you. Have you ever been wounded by the prejudgments of others? Have you ever really been deeply wounded by people assuming or treating or rejecting or passing over you just because of things and you say to yourself, they don't even know me.

Why would they treat me like that? I remember in college and this is in the early 70s and I remember we were traveling as a team and I was with three of the black players and the only place to get anything to eat, we came in kind of late and it was sort of like a bar, lounge, little restaurant and the four of us walk in and I mean these are my buddies. We do all of life together and we walk in and the guy comes up to me and goes, you can stay but they can't eat here. I said, what?

Yeah, you can stay but they can't eat here. And I thought some of us white people think we understand prejudice and what we understand is the intellectual aspect of prejudice and we think we are not prejudiced because we don't have these sort of racist views. When you have grown up and it applies to multiple races but when you've grown up and you experience some of those type things, I'll tell you what, my eyes were open in a different way. I remember it happens in really good Christian groups. I remember Teresa and I were in seminary at a very good seminary and we were in some housing where there are lots of other seminary students and all the things we're talking about, opening up and sharing your story and Teresa came to Christ through a difficult situation and she got married early and her husband started selling drugs and ran off with another woman and had these two little boys and I met her later and we got to get married and God called us into ministry and we went to the seminary and so Teresa is sharing her heart with this other lady, other seminary student and here's her response. I didn't know they let people like you in this seminary. Well, guess what that told my wife? Don't tell your story anymore.

Instead of being a trophy of the grace of God and redemption and what He can do, what she heard was, you don't measure up. I want to ask you something, has that ever happened to you? Second question, it flips the coin is, have you ever intentionally or unintentionally wounded others by prejudging them? Have you ever just found yourself, you know, sometimes you just gravitate away or... Have you even found yourself just unconsciously moving toward people that look like you, dress like you, you feel comfortable with and even almost without being aware of it, not talking to, not connecting with people that sound different, look different?

Or maybe as you just sat in a small group and someone was dressed in a way or you saw a tattoo there or a piercing there or maybe a really nice piece of jewelry and immediately your mind goes to, well, she must be a rich stuck-up person. All I'm telling you, this pain of prejudice is received when we prejudge others and it is given as we prejudge others and others prejudge us. And in Ephesians chapter 2 verses 11 to 22, there are two groups of people that literally for thousands of years hate one another. The word is hostility, it's enmity. And what we're going to get is a case study of overcoming prejudice. We're going to look at verses 11 through 22 and then what I want to do is draw five very specific applications from this about how we can overcome the pain of prejudice in our life. First of all, you need to know there's a classic conflict, it's Jew and Gentile.

It's long, it's intense, it's historical. The derogatory term for a Gentile, Jewish call the Gentile dogs. A Jew would not go into the house. If a Gentile touched food, a Jew would not eat it. There was a dividing wall, it's called the courts of the Gentiles and there was a dividing wall and then the Jews could enter and there was an inscription on the dividing wall in the temple. For a Gentile to enter here, the penalty is death.

This isn't just I don't like you, this is I hate you. That's why many of us don't grasp what was happening in the New Testament when Peter went down and stayed with the tanner, when Peter went inside Cornelius' house. He was breaking every rule under the sun because the love of God and the love of Christ had done something inside of him. Notice there's this classic conflict, it's hostility, therefore remember, and he's looking back on these first ten verses of, remember you were lost in your sin, but the grace of God and God who is rich in mercy, it's for by grace you're saved through faith. And in verse ten he says you're his masterpiece, you're his workmanship. You've been created in Christ Jesus unto a good work to walk and therefore remember that formally, he's speaking that you Gentiles by birth are called the uncircumcision. That's a derogatory word. By those who call themselves the circumcision, that's the Jews, we're superior.

Circumcision, that done in the body and the hands of men. Remember that at that time, prior to coming to Christ, you were one, separate from Christ, two, excluded from citizenship in Israel, three, foreigners to the covenants and the promise, four, without hope, and five, without God in the world. The Apostle Paul says first and foremost to them, you need to remember where you came from. You need to remember this division and this hostility. And then he says this hostility has a supernatural solution, and the supernatural solution is peace. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram.

And we'll continue his series Unstuck in just a second. But first, do you feel insecure, spiritually stuck, or guilty over your past? Then keep listening after this message to learn about an insightful resource we have that'll help you combat the lies we believe about ourselves, and that'll reveal the unique people God created us to be.

Stick around to learn more. Well, with that, here again is Chip. He reminds these Gentiles that they're culturally, historically, and spiritually, they were on the outside looking in. And there's a great divide. And until you remember where you came from and the great divide, you'll never appreciate the great solution. And so notice what he says, verse 13.

But now, strong contrast. In Christ, you Gentiles who were once far away have been brought near. Well, how? Through the blood of Christ.

Well, why? For he himself is our peace, who has made the two, the Jew and the Gentile, one, and has destroyed the barrier and the dividing wall of hostility. How did he do it? By abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and its regulations. Interesting phrase here where he says, destroyed or nullified, it means literally to make ineffective or without power. Christ's work, destroyed, nullified, made ineffective, the barrier, that word means to be a fence or a railing that can't be crossed.

And this little word dividing wall is a very rare word in the New Testament that is the actual description of that wall between the court of the Gentiles and the Jews. I mean, he's talking very specifically about the world they're living in, and he's told them, don't forget where you came from, and now he's talking about the peace that Christ is gonna bring. In fact, if you wanna do a little Bible study, you can even do it as I talk, just scan this, and every time the word peace comes up, circle it.

You're gonna find yourself with about four or five circles. Because what he's talking about is a peace that occurs, but it's not some emotional peace. Notice, how does it happen? By abolishing in his flesh the law and its commandments and regulations. Then notice the purpose. His purpose was to create in himself one new man, speaking in the church out of the two, thus making peace in this one body to reconcile or to restore both of them to God. Now, Paul, you need to understand, does give us a lot of long sentences, so put a parenthesis around through the cross, because that's the means in which he does it.

He makes this one new man, this new church, Jew, Gentile, together, one body, and what they have in common, it is what Jesus did on the cross that makes them both acceptable before God, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and he preached what? Peace.

To those who are far away, who's that? The Gentiles. And peace to those who were near, who's that?

The Jews. For through him we both have put a box around the word access. We have access to the Father by one Spirit.

This word access was used in the Oriental culture for an official whose job was to connect visitors with the king. And what he's saying is, I mean, if you're a Jew and you read this, you scratch your head and you go, you've got to be kidding me. And if you're a Gentile, you say, I can't believe what this Jesus has done. The prejudice and the hate. I mean, just think of, you know, radical Islam and a Jew today. Just think of any group that you know of that has history and history and history that you don't even know a person.

You just grow up and it's been ingrained. Those people are bad and evil and you hate them and those people are bad and evil and you hate them and they're holding in their hands this document about those two are going to become one and there's going to be peace. Now think about this. Paul's message here, the proof, the unity, the peace, he's going to say this difference of what happens in these two groups will be an amazing evidence of the power and the reality of Christ. In fact, it's a powerful testimony of unity. Notice that word consequently.

In other words, so what happened? These two groups that were completely prejudiced, little boys and little girls for thousands of years that didn't even know anything about the other person hated one another. Consequently, you Gentiles are no longer foreigners and aliens but fellow citizens with God's people. Not only fellow citizens but you're members of God's household.

Why? Because you're built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets with Jesus Christ himself as the chief cornerstone or literally that tip of the angle of the structure that holds everything together. In him, Jesus, the whole building, this new church, is being built together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.

And put a little line under temple because it's not just the normal, this isn't the picture of the big temple. This is the word used in the New Testament for the inner chamber of worship. This is a radical piece of literature. And you become a dwelling in which what? God's spirit lives and dwells.

It's in the present tense. God presently, continually, his power and his presence is manifested through these two groups that were prejudiced toward one another and now become the evidence of the reality and the power of Jesus. He's talked to them about overcoming a warped self-image because they are chosen.

He's talked to them about overcoming rejection because they've been adopted. He says you can overcome shattered dreams because you have the hope that no one can take. And he says you're gonna overcome the dysfunctional family that you had in Adam and was passed on to your parents and grandparents and all the rest because of this new rich in mercy God. And he says now I'm making you into something new and you have a new family so regardless of where you've been or whatever anyone ever thought of you, you have peace. You have peace with God and you have peace with one another and this peace is gonna be a testimony of unity to the watching world.

Now I think there's five principles that flow out of this in terms of very specifically for us because it's almost impossible for us to fathom what we've just read. I mean some of you have come out of some situations and you've been in some other parts of the country and you maybe have an inkling but I mean the prejudice, the hate, the wars, the hostility, the animosity and Christ changes the paradigm forever. Peace replaces hostility, the two become one. Centuries of hatred are buried.

Unity instead of division, love instead of hate, one instead of two because Christ broke down this wall. This is Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram and you've been listening to part one of Chip's message Overcoming the Pain of Prejudice from our series Unstuck. Chip will be back shortly to share some helpful application for us to think about. When we think about pain, it's an unfortunate part of the human experience. Whether it's a broken promise, a dysfunctional family relationship or prejudice, we've all had to deal with being hurt.

So what are we supposed to do when that heartache cripples us to our core? In this insightful series, Chip reveals the hope and restoration that Jesus promises. As he studies the book of Ephesians, Chip will remind us who we are, whose we are and why our past pain doesn't have to define our futures. To learn more about this series, visit Well, before we go any further, Chip's here in studio to share something that's been on his heart.

I'll be back in just a minute with some real specific application to today's message, but can I just share a secret? Everybody gets stuck and everyone feels insecure in new relationships, in a new job, people that are prettier, people that are smarter, they're more athletic, people that dress better, people that are more successful. When we move into relationships and environments like that, we all feel overwhelmingly insecure. And what I love about this series is we learn that we're secure in Christ.

And when I say that, I know some of you are kind of rolling your eyes where you go, I get that in my head, but, you know, how do you live that out? How do you get where you sense that security so that in those kind of relationships and environments you can just be yourself? Well, this series led me to write a book called Discover Your True Self that's based on this series, and I have a whole chapter on You Are Secure. And there's this journey and process of not only understanding in your head that you're secure, but a way to renew your mind. I actually have the cards written out right in the book and what to review and a process with some questions that you can do with other people where over time you renew your mind and you actually begin to believe as the Spirit of God helps you discover and see you are secure, you are loved, you are valuable.

And those things become the basis for how you see yourself, and it changes how you relate to other people. I really hope you'll get this book and maybe even get an extra copy to share with a friend. To order Chip's book, Discover Your True Self, go to specialoffers at or the Chip Ingram app. This tool will help you combat the deceptive lies we believe about ourselves by revealing who God uniquely created us to be. So if you feel stuck, insecure, or guilty over your past, this book will encourage you.

Again, to get your copy of Discover Your True Self, visit specialoffers on the Chip Ingram app or at Well, Chip, let's get to your application we promised. As we close today's program, this is one of those I want to admonish you to listen to the next broadcast. This is the first half of the message where we identify the problem, and in the second half of the message, we're going to look right at the text and we're going to address how do you deal with this problem. And the first point we made is that we need to examine where we tend to be prejudiced.

And this is not a matter, okay? I don't care how righteous or wonderful you are or you think you are, but you struggle with prejudice and you just don't know it. We all prejudge people. We all come from different backgrounds, and some it's how they look or how they dress or it's socioeconomic or, you know, it's deeply rooted in all of us.

And here's what I want you to do today. I just want you to ask God to help you remember when someone judged you. I mean, just someone who maybe it was how you looked. Maybe it's where you came from. Maybe it was your accent. Maybe it was your weight. Maybe it was your denomination. Maybe it was the color of your skin. Maybe it was just that look they gave you. Maybe it was because you were rich.

Maybe it was because you were poor. But we all look at different people, and with body language or words or behavior, we judge them. And the first step in eliminating prejudice is we've got to own and remember how it feels, because when you do that, it will be a great deterrent to treating other people the same way.

And can I give you a little way that might help you? This is a game I play, because I catch myself being prejudiced. I have a background.

You have a background. And, you know, I'll, you know, maybe driving, and I'll look at someone, or I'll be walking in the mall and I look at someone, and I start these negative things come to my mind. You know, maybe they've got, you know, 75 tattoos or pierced 14 different places and have a really bad attitude or so, I think. And my mind starts going to, like, what's going on with that person? Or sometimes it's someone who looks so together and they've got, like, this $100,000 car and, you know, like, a $50,000 watch, and I just start judging them. I'm sorry.

I should never do this. And a little game I play is, because I don't know everything, is I start making up quick little stories. Like, wow, I wonder if that guy got all those tattoos to identify with all the people with tattoos and there's a piercing there for every single person that he led to Christ, or, you know, I bet that guy, you know, maybe he's a multi-billionaire, and I bet he gives away, like, $500 million a year, and, you know, he just runs in those circles, and that car was a gift that someone gave him, and he's a great steward of everything. And you see what I'm doing? Is make up the best possible story, because you don't know what's going on, and I don't know what's going on, but I don't have any business judging the servant of another.

And when I make up that little story, then I try and treat them like, wow, what a cool guy with all those tattoos or with that beautiful car and that amazing Armani suit. I am so glad. And, again, it's kind of a game, but what it does, it cuts through this arrogant, prejudice superiority that's rotten and bitter in my soul that God wants to root out, and I want to root out. And can you imagine what would happen if we played those little games and then treated people the way that God sees them instead of how we see them?

It'd be a better place, wouldn't it? Let's go do it. Good challenge, Chip. As we close, I want to thank each of you who makes this program possible through your generous giving. 100% of your gifts go directly to the ministry to help Christians live like Christians. Now, if you found this teaching helpful but aren't yet on the team, consider doing that today.

Sending a gift is easy. Go to or call us at 888-333-6003. That's 888-333-6003 or visit Have listeners tap donate, and let me thank you in advance for doing whatever the Lord leads you to do. Well, join us next time as Chip continues his series, Unstuck. Until then, I'm Dave Druey, thanking you for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-24 05:19:37 / 2024-01-24 05:31:46 / 12

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