What’s on Your Mind?

by Anna Hartge

Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice!

I am an extremely optimistic person. I know it is important to keep the most positive attitude I can in every situation. Sometimes it takes a while to process what is going on around me, but in the final analysis I have to decide to make the best of each experience in my life.

This scripture from Philippians 4:4-9 also reminds us to think about the honorable, just, pure, pleasing, commendable, excellent and praise worthy things. Our thoughts can take control of our actions.

Since the founding of Grace and Race Ministries, Inc., I have had hundreds of conversations with people about their perspectives on the need for racial understanding and healing in our nation. The responses to the ministry range from race does not matter, nobody cares about racial reconciliation, to the work causes pain and is too difficult. I confess that I do not have any solution to what I recognize as a lack of respect for our shared humanity. What I know for sure is that the problems connected to race relations will not go away without men and women who are willing to challenge their own belief systems, thoughts and action toward people from diverse racial ethnic backgrounds.

It is my prayer that more of us will be willing to take a hard look at ourselves and to examine what we have in our minds that may hinder us in our ability to demonstrate grace and love to others. We must be willing to look for the best in others and to give others the benefit of doubt even in situations that appear negative. Many times a little thoughtful probing will result in developing a positive result.

What’s on your mind when you think about the words grace and race? When I put those words together in my mind, I hear the Spirit of God say “keep telling my people to love one another.” “Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:9

Rev. Brenda Girton-Mitchell

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