The Southern Bias

(Today’s post by Marc Cannon)

Philippians 1:27-2:18

pigglywigglyI’m a child of the South, of the Bible belt. For me I love being Southern and I’m extremely proud of my heritage. As I’ve traveled across this country and recently abroad my perception of the people on this planet have changed dramatically.  Sadly and self admittedly I grew up and harbored bigoted thoughts. It wasn’t something my parents engrained in me or that I was born into. It was the culture around me. My bigotry wasn’t towards just one grouping of people. I dare say that it was towards anyone different than me. Raceially, socially, sexually, even religiously. To me being from the south gave me a pride that made me better than those not from here. Especially those who thought differently than the average southerner.  We are a culture of extremely proud people.

Several years ago I began my journey with the church I attend now and as I became more involved and as I started to take my walk with Jesus more seriously, those stigmas and perceptions of others began to change. I began to see the world through Christ’s eyes and His people as He sees them. Last year I joined In on two mission trips to Costa Rica, a vastly different culture than where I come from. What I learned there is that the people there are, well, they’re people. Just like you and me. They love and serve the same merciful God I serve. They also see me as a brother and not as an “American”.

As I read this passage, I began to think how I’ve changed. How I’ve viewed people through Christ’s eyes and not my own. I also began to think if I’ve really shed that pride and do I still harbor bigotry in ways and sadly I do. I can pinpoint the exact times when this still happens: It’s when my pride swells. It’s when I don’t look at the world through His eyes. It’s when I’m not humbling myself …. it’s when I’m building myself up that I tear others down.

Maybe you don’t have these same issues as I do. Maybe when you dig into your own pride it’s not bigotry or cultural bias…Maybe it’s something like anger, maybe it’s selfishness, maybe it’s coveting…The truth remains the same for all of us, when we don’t look at this world through Jesus’ eyes we are blinded from the truth.

Philippians 2:5
You should think in the same way Christ Jesus does.

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