01.28.2018 | “Get Useful 4: Make Your Bias Behave”
Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.
1. Did you take the “Project Implicit” test from Harvard? If so, what did you discover? Were you surprised?
2. Do you consider yourself a biased person? Why or why not?
Two strong themes emerge in Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus: First, there is the idea that God’s church—as a body AND as individuals—is called to grow to maturity in Christ, marked by compassionate love (see, for instance, 4:11-16).
The second theme is that Christ’s work on the cross brings together people—specifically here the Jews and Gentiles, but also ALL people going forward. (see 2:14-22).
In verse 15, Paul remarks that the whole (or every) family on heaven and earth gets their “name” from God. In this context, this could be the same thing as saying that God is involved and present in “every culture, race, people and ethnic group on Earth.”
How have you seen God present in other cultures and people groups (whether at home or in other countries)?
How has it enlarged your understanding of God?
How do you see God in your own culture?
Read 3:14-21 again, slowly.
Paul also prays here that people in Ephesus would deeply know the love of Christ.
How (as specifically as possible) does the love of Christ help us with unity and overcoming our bias?
Put another way, what are some of the ways that you would describe Christ’s love? HOW did he love people (including YOU)?
How can this impact the way we treat other people who may not look, act, or think like us?
How well do you do with loving people—specifically people who you may be biased against—like Christ loved you?
Read 3:14-21 AGAIN, this time as YOUR prayer. Personalize it; make it yours.
Getting Out of the Hole
Make a concerted effort to have a conversation with someone who you may be biased against. Make efforts to go below the surface to hear their story. Receive, welcome, and love them the way Christ loved you: with acceptance, compassion and without judgment.
Where you may disagree, focus on the common identity you may have, and strive to learn and maintain unity.
Be aware of when you’re allowing your bias or preconceived notions to cloud your thinking.
Be grateful for the rich diversity of the kingdom of God.