I have been reading things lately that upset me. I’m doing it on purpose. If I only listen to the people who think like me, act like me, and look like me, I will not be challenged. It’s not that people unlike me are right or wrong; they just have different perspectives.
Perspective. Mine is unavoidably biased. I am male, white, wealthy by global standards, healthy, married, educated, Christian, Western in thought and religious tradition, and many more things that are reflected in the way I see and interact with the people around me.
In an essay titled, “A Letter to My Parents on BlackLivesMatter,” Meg Barclay writes: “Order, you say, must be restored. Whose order? Nature’s or man’s?”
If I substitute “God” for nature in that quote, it causes me to ask: when I talk about “order” (another way to say things being the way I think they should be), am I unavoidably talking about the order that matches my bias rather than the order that aligns with God?
This problem exists whether I am dealing with my family, a business decision, or the social issues that we inevitably wrestle with continuously. This problem of bias is the root of mankind’s problem. St. Augustine called it “Incurvatus in se,” which is Latin for “curved in on itself.” I am, by nature, selfish. I want the world to serve me, and to serve me best it needs to look and smell and taste the way I think it should.
As a follower of Christ, I want to become less “biased.” Less judgmental. Less racist. Less Western. Less white. I will become less, and Christ will become more.
Instead of waiving the ugly flag of bias, I want to love and accept every person as someone made intentionally and specifically by a loving God. Someone who, just like me, makes mistakes and has an imperfect and biased view of themselves and others. Someone who not only needs grace as much as I do, but to whom the same grace is also freely offered. Someone who, if I believe Jesus and claim to follow him, I am commanded to love, but more importantly, should want to love.
Kimray should be a place where we stand for what is true and right—after we have proven that we love the people we are talking to. I am grateful to have the privilege of working with so many really talented and thoughtful people. I appreciate it when you help me see the world in a different way. As iron sharpens iron, let’s stay committed to change, to being upset, and to challenging one another to see the world as God sees it.
Thanks for listening to my thoughts.