Wayne Bridegroom, aside from being my roomie in college (which means very little in the grand scheme of things except that it provides for our personal connection), is the pastor of a multiracial church in central California. The church has been in an area of town that has changed over racially three different times and the church never moved. It just adjusted to the predominant culture around it. It’s the main reason why the church is mixed, racially. When others moved out, they stayed. As the world around them shifted, they shifted to meet it. As a result, he’s learned a thing or two about race relations from the best school there is — the school of life, and from that school he’s learned three important lessons that he shared with us on our BlogTalkRadio show last night — three simple things to do to get along with someone who is different from you.
Think: “I’m not better than you.”
Think: “I can learn from you.”
Put your hand to the plow and work together.
The most important things are usually the most obvious, but what he’s calling for when it comes to race relations is basically a spirit of humility. Don’t look down your nose at anyone; look up, because you have made that other person more important than yourself, so you have to look up to them. Look up to someone of a different color or culture or religion. Look up to someone different, not down, and think about what you can learn from them.
Of course this doesn’t just apply to race relations; it would apply to a relationship with anyone. Who wouldn’t want a relationship with someone who thought they were something special?
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:2-4