“White Privilege”. There, I said it. It’s been burning in my mind for several days now, after a friend posted a meme that stressed the words, “We whites”. I responded in an un-Christian manner, because that phrase really got to me. Let me tell you why (but first, let me sincerely apologize for my manners. You know who you are.)
Using the pronoun “we” in conjunction with anything is to include yourself and myself. In the case of a negative thing, this amounts to accepting (or even claiming) responsibility. In the case of today’s socio-economic situation, this is most definitely undeserved guilt. To give a sense of why, I quote from a movie:
“None of us took this city from Muslims. No Muslim of the great army now coming against us was born when this city was lost. We fight over an offence we did not give, against those who were not alive to be offended.”
Balian of Ibelin, Kingdom of Heaven
The only one capable of taking on undeserved guilt was Jesus Christ. It was The Undeserved Privilege of all time, and He did it willingly. I will not boast that I am able to do so great a thing. In short, you and I are not responsible for the way the world is, and I take offense at any words to that effect.
The only undeserved privilege I have ever had is to be chosen by God, The Creator, to receive His gifts of faith and a changed heart. Faith is what made everything in my life different. It makes everything in my life worthwhile – no matter my circumstances. Frankly, it bothers me when I’m accused of being given something others do not have the equal opportunity to experience, or that I am somehow to blame – guilty only by association – for their lack. Is this a Christian view? Yes! To be Christian is to have an individual relationship with God; to realize a personal need for salvation, and then to serve others who are in need, so that others may hear and see this Good News through my words and actions. Meanwhile, I hold quite enough guilt for the evil I have actually done. I struggle to grow beyond it.
1 Peter 1:14 ERV
In the past you did not have the understanding you have now. So you did the evil things you wanted to do. But now you are Children of God, so you
should can obey Him and not live the way you did before.
How aptly this verse describes me! Falling for my selfish desires, I did do harm – but to myself and to those closest to me, not to any I have never met. This is my guilt. By my own hand I descended into a perversion of life, and that is where God found me and from where He saved me. And He continues to strengthen me, one day at a time.
1 Timothy 2:1-4 ESV
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
God wants all people to be saved – not from having challenges here on earth but from falling to them, from failing to get up again. There is no doubt that life will have struggles, but it is fact that God yearns for us to turn to Him for help to rise above. He stands beside everyone of us, ready, willing, and able to lavishly give faith, encouragement, strength, and hope to lift us to our feet, whatever our situation.
John 16:33 NIV
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
I see this faith in people from all walks of life and all geographies and all economic and health conditions. This confirms to me that God is working to make salvation available to anyone. To everyone. The only lack one needs to realize is the lack of God in one’s life. And with God present (and with His presents), believers are equipped to work for what is truly worthy and important, giving and sharing from whatever their bounty is.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
Without God, I self-destructed. With Him, I live. I accept what is, and, knowing my starting line, I am guided forward. I take my place as a member of the Body of Christ, with my own situation, talents, and purpose – to voluntarily share, Christlike, sacrificing only what I have been given in abundance. This is my privilege.