27 Oct

Remove Label Barriers!

The command to go the second mile strikes at the heart of the walls we tend to erect against the people whom we don’t want to help or be associated with. Every group—including cultures, political parties, and religions—tends to employ techniques to protect themselves from “outsiders” by assigning labels with negative connotations. One of the most grievous label barriers involves racial prejudice.

God identifies only one race in the Bible—the human race. Modern racial divisions came with the theory of evolution.

Notice that the complete roll call of God does not include races, “[Christ] hast redeemed us to God by … [His] blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” (Revelation 5:9). In Christ “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

The woman at the well was shocked when Jesus asked her for a drink, and she exclaimed, “How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans” (John 4:9). The Jews are a people group because they are all descendants of Abraham, but Paul points out that by faith in Christ, Gentile believers become spiritual descendants of Abraham. (See Galatians 3:7.)

Label barriers prohibit us from entering into the most meaningful relationships in life. For example, Nathaniel said of Jesus, “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46), and the early Christians resisted the newly converted Apostle Paul because he was a feared Pharisee.

The command to go the second mile brings us to a label barrier that hinders many Christians from actively carrying out God’s will in the community. They view their government leaders as secular politicians rather than ministers of God.

Every government official is “the minister of God to thee for good. … For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers” (Romans 13:4, 6).

Jesus had to condemn the Pharisees for their hypocrisy, but he did not erect a barrier against all Pharisees. Instead, he received a Pharisee named Nicodemus, and through their conversation we now understand the marvelous truth of the new birth. (See John 3.)

No doubt, the disciples flinched when Jesus told them to go to help a hated Roman soldier with his heavy backpack. Do we have a similar reaction when we hear titles such as Democrats, Republicans, Catholics, Protestants, Liberals, Atheists, Muslims, Buddhists, Communists, Fundamentalists, and so on? Let’s tear down these barriers so we can fulfill the royal law of love. (See James 2:8.)

Through Christ our Lord,

Bill Gothard


After reading Daily Success Devotions #59 during our morning devotions. The Lord impressed on my heart to show our appreciation to St. Aloysius Church, Caldwell, NJ because of their generosity in allowing us to use their parking lot during the viewing and funeral services in Sept, 2010 for Leo.  I called and was given an appointment to meet with Monsignor Desmond on October 25, 2013.

We were welcomed by Monsignor Desmond, 2 employees and 2 others.  Monsignor Desmond asked my son, Dylan “So tell us about this song you are about to sing.”  Dylan answered “The song is called I have been blessed and it speaks of the love of God and how He has been good to us.”  After a few minutes of interview by Monsignor Desmond, the kids recited Psalm 100, sang, and  “We Have Been Blessed” Gospel TractS were distributed


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