Cameron:  [to Anthony] "You embarrass me.  You embarrass yourself."

~ Quote from Crash (R)

Crash is an amazing film.  It brings out the ugly side of racism and highlights the stark reality of its ignorance and stupidity.  In some cases, people learn; in others, they don't... which is what raises this movie to another level.  This film is powerful and will tear at you... I think it's very well done and worth a viewing, but keep in mind it does have an "R" rating.

The particular scene I nabbed this quote from is at a moment in which Cameron confronts Anthony, a man who has attempted to car-jack him.  Both of them are black and Cameron, in the sternest voice he can muster, attempts to open Anthony's eyes to the life he is leading.  Because of the actions Anthony chooses he is reinforcing the stereotype many people, according to the film, in the LA area hold... that all black men are drug dealers and robbers.  As a car-jacker he is an embarrassment to other black men and also to himself.

Certainly it's ludicrous (pun intended) to think that all black men are car-jackers and/or drug dealers; however, sadly some people do hold this opinion.  There are many others...  All Mexicans are lazy. All white people are rich.  All Russians are drunks.  All people hailing from Poland are stupid.  All Italians have mafia connections.  All Norwegians have little noses.  The list could fill many pages, but I won't waste this space with any more idiotic banter.  The truth is NONE of these generalizations are anywhere near fact.  I know plenty of Mexicans who are very hard workers.  There are tons of poor white people and many sober Russians, smart Polish and Italians who have never even sniffed the gangster life.  I happen to have a little nose, but I know that all Norwegians are not as lucky as me.

My point is... just because you see a lazy Mexican doesn't mean all Mexicans are lazy.  Maybe you have a Russian friend who's a drunk, doesn't mean all Russians are.  Generalizations are stupid and never right... but that's only one point I wanted to bring out from this quote.  Let's look at the embarrassment side of things.

There are many people who are an embarrassment to the people they represent.  It's sad, very sad, the image Christians get because of the few people that go around thumping people on their heads with bibles thinking lost people should know better.  Yes, people must know the truth, but we should take the time to share it in love [1].  I can't think of a person who would be receptive of someone banging on their front door barking convicting scriptures.

Most people were taught at a very young age to not talk to strangers.  I have a feeling this teaching has stuck.  People just don't easily let others in, which makes it even more crucial to develop relationships with the people around you.  Work at the relationship so you can get to the point where the person would be receptive of hearing the truth... allow the Holy Spirit to lead you [2] so you can know when the time comes and pray for the courage [3] to follow through on the leading.  Until that time; pray for them, talk with them and develop the relationship.  Then when the time comes the word of God and the word of our testimony will flow from our lips and touch the person's heart [4].

We must spread the good news [5], but we must also be smart about it.  Don't be an embarrassment, know where you are and learn how to best reach the people around you.

Verses Reference

[1] Ephesians 4:15
 
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.

[2] Psalm 143:10
 
Teach me to do your will,
  for you are my God;
  may your good Spirit
  lead me on level ground.

[3] Acts 23:11
    The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, "Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome."

[4] Hebrews 4:12
    For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

[5] Mark 16:15
    He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.