Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

April 14, 2010

Losing The Race

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Browsing at the library, I picked up a book by John H. McWhorter, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley.  The book entitled, Losing The Race, speaks of inequalities to black students in education.  The professor was assessing the difference in black and white students in the university.  He felt that African-American students were not keeping up with the opportunities that were available to them.   As an African-American, Dr. McWhorter was critical of the inequalities, but was likewise stating that the black race in the United States had held themselves back.  His title for the book indicated his assessment that African-Americans were falling behind because of three manifestations.  The race was being lost through these three expressions.

The black culture, he wrote, suffered from victimology.  That is, they claim they cannot win the race because they are victims of society.  In fact, he declared that victimhood is exaggerated and enshrined.  He listed, secondly, a spirit of separatism.  The culture brought upon themselves that they were different and determined to stay that way.  Thirdly, the black community possessed an anti-intellectualism attitude.

This is not a review of the book because I did not read it.  I quickly read the introduction to gain his thesis.  Then I scanned most of the chapters hurriedly.  Why did I even pick the book from the shelf.  I cannot answer that.  The title caught my eye and it triggered a thought in my mind.  “Run the race . . . .” Those opening words of a verse of Scripture flooded my thinking.  As a Christian, I am to run the race.  Am I losing the race?

Hebrews 12:1  ” . . . let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”  I have a responsibility as a child of God to live faithfully, whatever the cost, for Him.  I must not allow the affairs of the world, or selfish desires to hinder me.  I must focus on Jesus Christ.  I am to seek a life that would honor and reflect Him.  That is what I am supposed to do.  Am I doing it?  If I am stumbling, I am losing the race!

Dr. McWhorter provided me some insight as to why we can fail in that race to become what God expects.  Consider what the professor said.  The race can be lost because of a spirit of victimology.  Simply put, we can succumb to the pressures of the world and feel that we cannot overcome all the pressures thrust upon us.  We can claim we don’t have time for spiritual involvement.  We can seek to excuse ourselves from developing and growing as a Christian because of all the responsibilities we have.  We can shout we are a victim of our environment and commitments.  We don’t believe we can do it.  Christ is our strength.  It is for sure we cannot overcome without His power.  But we can overcome!

We can falter in the race because of an attitude of separatism.  We as believers can assume a posture that we are so different from the world that we are morally exempt.  If we are not guarded, we can become so separate from the world and cloistered in our Christian groups, that we fail to run the race that can effectively present the gospel.  You have heard it said, “He is so heavenly minded that he is no earthly good.”  We are to be separate from the world, but in the world expressing that we are a separated person because of our faith relationship in Christ.

The third expression used in the assessment of the black culture losing the race was anti-intellectualism.  For those of us who grew up on the Word, always went to Sunday School, and have heard every sermon it seems, it is easy for us to say we know enough spiritually.  Thus we begin to slack off concerning Bible study and those disciplines that will aid in bringing us to the maturity in Christ that is expected by Him.  If we live by the Word, we must know the Word.

There is a race toward maturity for every child of God.  Let’s not stop for water breaks, rest periods, arguing with the referee, or making excuses.  Onward to the victory line is our shout!

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for  us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  (Hebrews 12:1-3)



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