Esteeming Others

I once played golf. I don’t mean I played golf once, but I once played golf. I played a lot. I played for probably twenty years until I realized that I was paying good money to come home mad. As long as I knew I was bad, I had no problem playing for the fun of it. When I began to think I was better and
therefore should not slice my drive or three putt; that’s when it became an excuse to let my anger spew.

My relaxing hobby turned into an eighteen-hole, emotional roller coaster that usually ended with frustration. So I quit and I’ve not played in several years. But I still like golf and I like to watch the major championships on television. I will not put in print the amount of hours I sat and watched the U.S. Open. There will never be anything tangible that can be used against me in the years to come. But let me say, I watched a lot. And then a few years ago, it was the British Open, or what is properly known as “The Open.” And even though I did not watch it as much as the previous major tournament, I did find myself drawn to the South African winner whose last name can only be pronounced by a speech pathologist who has been trained in South Africanese.

Louis Oosthuizen, a twenty-seven-year-old, not only won, but did it convincingly by a whopping 7 strokes. And then after his final putt, he proceeded to hug his caddy who is also his golfing partner and friend; Zack Rasego. Louis hugged Zack, his caddy who is also his golfing partner and friend… and who is black. Let me write it one more time. Louis, who is white and from South Africa, hugged his caddy, who is also his golfing partner and friend, who is also black and from South Africa.

Apartheid was once the law in South Africa. It segregated races. It pitted race against race and man against man. It was not voted out until 1994. Nelson Mandela spent twenty-seven years in prison because of his work against apartheid. Needless to say, South Africa is still battling to overcome the years of racism and prejudice, but they are making headway thanks to young men like Louis and Zack. I really don’t understand racism and prejudice. Oh I understand that we all think of ourselves in some way better than others. It may be because of our social status, education, or position, but we all have some prejudice.

What I don’t understand is how grown men and women can look at another grown man or woman and not understand that somewhere down the line; we are brothers and sisters. Our skin may be a different tint, but our blood is red and God has created all of us in His image. We all hurt, love, cry, grieve, get discouraged, and have a desire for purpose. We all are a blessed people no matter what color God has chosen to put on our exterior. It simply shows that God must love diversity. The problem with the races comes when we fail to heed the command the Lord gave to Paul concerning humility. He said, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Phil 2:3-4) What if every white man esteemed the Asian better than himself? What if every Hispanic esteemed the black man better than himself? What if for one day or one week, or one month, I looked out for your interests as much as I did mine; and you did that to me? What if that one scripture became the mission of every organization? It really is simple. Some think it is their calling to “make things right!” And sometimes there is a time to stand up for our rights. But lasting change does not happen when I have stood up for my rights, but when I have stood up for the rights of others. It happens when Louis embraces Zack and Zack embraces Louis and neither one know who made the first move.

BY: Gary Miller

Gary leads a church plant and teaches undergrad religion/apologetics. Gary also leads a ministry to hunters & fishermen. He has blogged for 17 years. Gary loves to cycle, run and do anything fit-wise. He is also passionate about prison reform. Gary walks day by day as an encourager.


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