This week I concluded the book of Romans and I believe the last few chapters particularly Chapters 12- 14 are essential to living purposefully as a Christian here on earth. If you are so inclined, I encourage you to read them when you have a moment. In those last chapters, I gleaned some wisdom to share about the current state of affairs in the world right now (no I am not talking about COVID-19… I am talking about racism towards black, indigenous, and people of colour).
The murder of George Floyd and its resultant global uproar has brought to the forefront issues of privilege. Privilege is described as unearned access to resources that are readily available to some people because of their social group membership, an advantage, or immunity granted to or enjoyed by one societal group above and beyond the common advantage of all other groups. There are many types of privilege: financial (class), racial or ethic category, religious (christian), male, able-bodied, marital status, age, height, weight, housing, educational, IQ, etc. We all, regardless of race, are privileged in one way or another and to oversimplify, when privilege is not used appropriately, you end up with social constructs such as racism, tribalism, systemic oppression, discrimination, apartheid, hegemony, and colonization to mention a few. These social constructs stem from one thing: people thinking they are better than others.
The book of Romans guides us on how to use our privilege appropriately as christians:
Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment…Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves…Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited…If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12: 3, 10, 16, 18 NIV
As we get closer and closer to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, this world gets stranger and stranger; humanity is getting more selfish and people are chasing after power only to use it at the expense of others. Oppression in its many forms both overt and covert is on the rise and as Christians, we need to take a stand to be different and we do so with this action word: LOVE.
Give to everyone what you owe them…Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another Romans 13: 7-8 NIV
We owe everyone a debt of love that needs to be paid just as freely as Jesus paid our debt of sin. Let’s not be conceited, but instead, think of the next person as worthy and deserving of honor and love and pay that debt them.
You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat…Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. Romans 14: 10, 13 NIV
Let us not sit in judgment over others because of the privilege we hold be it by the colour of our skin, by what tribe or family we were born into, or by our educational or financial status. Do not be the reason why another person does not experience the abundant love of God that has been released into world. Do not let privilege be an obstacle but rather an opportunity to show the love of God and reach out to the lost because
By this everyone will know that you are [God’s] disciples, if you love one another. John 13: 35 NIV
Ps: don’t forget to like, share, and comment and together lets be intentional in living out our faith.