Romans 2:5-16 | But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism. All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
For God does not show favoritism. – Romans 2:11
Anger. Pain. Frustration. Fear. Numbness. My Black compatriots and I listed our deep feelings about horrifying discrimination against Black people in the United States. Yet those feelings couldn’t deter our passionate efforts toward positive change. Protests that promote equal civil rights continue because so many people have felt the sting of racial hatred. It’s no secret. But Genesis 1:27 reminds us that God made all of us “in his image.” Black lives are created in God’s image—beautiful.
Our unique, colorful skin colors are only one expression of God’s image. God’s creativity for His divine purposes, however, doesn’t give preferential treatment to anyone based on a face in a mirror. What matters most to Him is the content of each person’s heart. He gives us each the opportunity and responsibility to bring His heavenly truth to Earth, to everyone we see. And to do good and love one another. In Romans 2:6–7, we see that God “will repay each person according to what they have done. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.”
If God shows no favoritism, then why should we? The solution to racism begins with each of us taking a look at ourselves in the mirror and asking God, What can I do for the good of others? How can I love? Powerful change begins in our heart and affects the souls around us. —Justin Morris
What can I do to turn the tide toward justice today, and how do God and His wisdom fit into my plans?
God, help us to look into the Scriptures, understand that discrimination does not come from You, and love our neighbors, all created in Your image. In Jesus’ name, amen.