Frequent flare-ups of racial violence cause many people ask why racial conflict persist in our land after nearly 400 years. African Americans endured 250 years of chattel slavery; 90 years of Jim Crow; and 60 years of separate but equal. One writer sums up our dilemma by saying, “Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, [we] will never be whole.” Perhaps we can take a lesson from Jesus’ words to Simon, who invited him to dinner, recorded in Luke CH 7: Simon the host criticized Jesus for failing to discern that the woman who anointed His feet with tears was a sinner. Jesus ignored the religious practice of spurning such people. He accepted her and forgave her. He discerned in her tears and her actions an attitude of repentance for her many sins. So He said to Simon, “I tell you, her sins-and they are many-have been forgiven; she has shown me much love.” Christ forgave this dear woman because she truly repented of her sins and showed by her actions that she regretted her past lifestyle and wanted to change. That same attitude of repentance, forgiveness, and appropriate actions can bring healing to racial conflict in our land.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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