This week Pastor Miles discusses our unalienable rights and how to honor those rights in other people. He asks the question from the very beginning, “Do I have permission to challenge you today?” This is to prepare you to take the challenge to the next level.
Every race conversation is about us vs. them. And The Third Option is that we honor what we have in common.
He references the screen behind him with all of the faces from all around the world of different colors and cultures. Pastor Miles encourages us to pick out a face and imagine the person from your racial/ethnic out-group that you have the most issue with. It could be that white person that you think has white privilege. It’s that black person you think is taking advantage of the system. It’s that immigrant over there that you think is trying to take your job. It’s that person that in your private heart, you’re talking about and have an issue with.
Identify just one person from your out-group. Picture that person. And say, “God this is my issue.” We are going to learn about how and why you need to honor them.
Imagine that person and give them this label: That is my neighbor. Whatever label you had for them before, take that off. That label is not Biblical.
Now imagine that person you have angst with, that’s your family. And now you need to honor them. Why? So you can see them the way God sees them, and not the way you used to see them.
Pastor Miles references the Declaration of Independence (it correlates with chapter 2 in his book). It says that “All men are created equal.” It should be obvious that that is how it’s supposed to be. But culture has poisoned us to think that this person or that person is less than you.
All people are endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights. We are going to talk about unalienable honor. When we think about our neighbor, that person you have described, there are 3 unalienable responsibilities that we have toward them.
What does unalienable mean? You have been given something freely, not of your own merit. God has given you something that you do not deserve that you cannot repay Him for. He just gave it to you.
Gen. 1:26-28 - Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
God said every single person, remember your neighbor, that person we talked about in the beginning, He has blessed them (and you) in His image. And He said about both of you, that neither of you deserve it. He just gave it to you.
Honor is to place priceless value on something. This book talks about honoring others…placing a high value on something that they have. (Not something they do for you.) Place a high value on their unalienable characteristic of them.
Image of God
“God made them in Our image.” Think about that person…that person that gives you angst. God said about them, “I made them in my image just like I made you in My image. The image I put in them is the same image I put in you.”
- 3 Unalienable Facts
- 1. It was undeservedly given to all people.
- Gen. 1:26-28
- We did not deserve to be made in God’s image. It’s our ability to walk and express and receive the love of God. He gave us that opportunity and responsibility. We did not deserve it. He just loves us.
- 2. It can acknowledge itself in others.
- Romans 2:12-16 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.
- Whether you’re a believer or not, you’ll hear things and think “That’s honorable.” Or, “That’s not honorable.” You just know.
- One doesn’t have to be wrong for the other to be right. That’s an us vs. them mentality. It doesn’t mean you always have to agree with them, but we need to have all the information.
- 3. It’s grieved when compromised.
- The Spirt can be grieved when we do something that’s against the heart of God.
- We have an unalienable responsibility to not grieve God. We need to get all of the information.
- 3 Unalienable Responsibilities
- 1. Life – Our God image is a lover of people.
Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
It is a non-negotiable to love your neighbor. It is a responsibility given to us by God.
That person in your out-group is your neighbor. So what does God call you to do? Love him or her. Do whatever you can with God’s heart and God’s mind to help them obey God.
2. Liberty – Our God image is a protector of justice.
- Micah 6:8 - He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love [a]mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?
Matthew 12:18 - “Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen,
My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased!
I will put My Spirit upon Him,
And He will declare justice to the Gentiles.
We dehumanize our out-group by putting a label on them. When we dehumanize them, we don’t have a problem when they are mistreated or treated differently than you would be treated. Because they are less than you so they deserve less than you because they’re not at your level. They’re less than you so they can receive less justice. This is not how it should be. That’s why we need to relabel them as our neighbor.
3. Pursuit of Happiness – Our God image is an investor in dreams.
- The people that you think are wrong might actually be right. And you can be right too. You both can be right. Making them right doesn’t necessarily make you wrong. That’s the Third Option. We can walk together. We can understand how to understand each other better.
2 Corinthians 1:20 - For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.
Everybody has a yes on their life. You have a yes on your life. You want to ask God, “Show me a different perspective. Show me what I don’t know about my out-group. Show me how I can be more like you. Because those people are made in Your image.”
When you see your “neighbor,” speak life to their yes. Ask God to send your neighbor into your life. Ask Him to give your courage to live out The Third Option.
Declaration of Unity
• TODAY, I (state your name) join my heart with my brothers and sisters, as we
humble ourselves before each other and before God.
• Today, I pledge to love, forgive, and move towards those I’ve previously held at arm’s length because of their ethnicity or color.
• Today, I give God permission to search my heart for any impure motive in how I view others of different color or ethnicity.
• Today, I ask for forgiveness for any pain I may have caused those who look different than me.
• Today, I pledge a willingness to learn about the racial blind spots and biases that I have.
• Today, I pledge to look for ways to extend the blessings that God has given me to encourage my brothers and sisters of all colors and ethnicities.
• Today, I will begin honoring the priceless eternal value of ALL people, no matter their colors or ethnicity.
• Today, I surrender any cultural arrogance toward other ethnicities and cultures while pledging to adopt a posture of learning and appreciation.
• Today, I pledge to eliminate all dishonoring titles toward others and see everyone as my neighbor, someone to love and not hate, and someone to lift up and not hold down.
• Today, I stand in unity with my brothers and sisters, right here and now, as we reject the cultural options of division and choose the Third Option of honor.