1. Being Privileged Does Not Mean You Are Lazy
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Being a part of an advantaged group does not mean that you haven’t worked hard in your lifetime. The recognition of privilege and bias is seeing ways structures in our communities are designed to be less than fair. It is not a judgment about work ethic or ability.
Imagine two runners doing a one-mile race. One is a white man one is a black woman. The white man running works incredibly hard to finish the race, but has the privilege of not having any hurdles in his way. The black woman, however, has all sorts of hurdles and obstacles in her way as she finishes the race. The white man still worked hard—but would have had to work even harder to finish the race.
When we start to name ways a structure or a group's bias is imbalanced we can start advocating for fairness, healing, reform, and justice.
Some privileges in our society are earned ones such as in order to legally drive a car you have to pass a driving test. You have to prove that you are able to safely operate a vehicle before having the right to get behind a wheel. There are many instances in which we have to put out effort or jump through specific hoops in order to gain a particular privilege.
However, there are many other occasions when people are given advantages due to factors that have less to do with merit and more to do with position. In these moments it is so important for us all to consider the context around how or why you have received that advantage.
We must be cognizant of how using that advantage may impact others that lack your same position in society. Is the flip side of your privilege the oppression of others?
As Believers, we have the privilege of salvation solely due to our position of relationship with Jesus. This privilege has nothing to do with our own merits and has everything to do with entering a grace-filled relationship with Jesus. We can be so thankful that God requires nothing more than belief for us to become a part of His great family.
One mandate of our faith is to share access to this spiritual privilege through sharing the message of salvation with others in our lives. Matthew 28:18-19 says, “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.’” This is the Great Commission that instructs Believers to share our faith with others.
We are given the gift of salvation because God loves us. God also loves the world around us and uses us to share His love with those we come in contact with.
This should be our approach to positional privilege! We should do what we can to freely share it.
We also should be people who work to amend the organizations we are a part of in ways that end systematic bias and unfair advantages for special groups at the expense of others. It is up to us to change structures and be those that bring an end to oppression.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash Priscilla du Preez