by Caitlyn Hayes
Recently I was having a conversation with someone about all the things going on in our world, and they said, “Have you noticed that we know how adults feel about race, but no one has asked kids and teens what their experiences are?” That stuck with me because we always encourage teenagers to learn about life and how to handle it. However, when tough times come, we do not ask them about their experience or point of view.
While many teens do not see division based solely on skin color today, there still are cases in the world where young people experience racism. Recently, I sat down with two girls who dealt with racism at school. They have been called names and targeted by other students all because of the color of their skin.
As young, strong, Christian women, I asked them how racism has impacted them. To sum up their answers, it has been a constant punch in the gut over something they have no control over. This made me think of 1 Corinthians 15:49: “Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven” (ESV). Each person has been made by the same Creator in His image.
When we focus on our differences and allow them to divide us, that is all there will be: division. However, if we adopt the old saying “W.W.J.D.” (What would Jesus do), we would see more of God’s children coming together and spreading the gospel. We would be examples of the true, open love and grace of Jesus Christ. When you or one of your friends is being picked on, remember to Whom you belong. Remind them, and yourself, that people do not define you! You are defined by who you are in Him!