Christian Privilege

“This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” – 1 John 2:5-6

We hear a lot these days about privilege, most frequently “white privilege”. We know it’s true, don’t we, that some of us grew up in more privileged circumstances than others? We had food to eat, decent clothes to wear. We had a safe place to live and got to go to school every day. 

We also know that with privilege comes responsibility. The Bible itself tells us that in Luke 12:48, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted much, much more will be asked.” It’s a biblical principal we must take seriously.

In light of that, think about this: As Christians, we have a far greater privilege than that which is afforded by our ethnicity, race, family stability, or the level of our education. We have the privilege of knowing and serving the living God! And with that comes greater responsibility than any social privilege might give us.

How do we live out that responsibility? We learn to yield to the Holy Spirit who will enable us to live as Jesus would if he were living our lives. We already know Jesus was confrontive with abusers, kind to children, compassionate toward the weak, patient with his followers, and enlightening to seekers of truth. His was the greatest privilege of all – after all he was the Son of God! He showed us how to live out privilege through humility and self-sacrifice.

The good news is that Christian privilege is available to all, no matter religion, race, gender, or intellect. If we know that, we have a responsibility to spread the word!

” . . . life’s joys are only joys if they can be shared.” – Ravi Zacharias

 

2 thoughts on “Christian Privilege

  1. I get where you’re going here, and it’s valuable, but the work to be done around privilege and its moral and societal consequences are going to get in the way or be made more difficult. It’s just a different meaning of the word than how you use it later, benefitting from systems that advantaged someone (white, male, Christian, wealth and other privileges) at the expense of others. What does that mean for those who had it, those who didn’t and what do we do now?

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  2. Those are big questions, John, and well beyond the purpose of this post. In 300 words (my self-imposed limit), I can make one or two points and, in this case, the purpose was to acknowledge areas in which we are privileged and, then, to recognize that privilege (whether societal or spiritual) carries responsibility. Many books have been written responding to your questions, as you know, – and it does take books, research, and experience, not snippets (like this blog post) to more fully address those issues. I am sure you have read much on the topic, and I know you live out your convictions daily. Thanks so much for your comments as they have given me a chance to respond more fully to the topic.

    (For anyone reading this, there are books I have read on the subject of societal privilege and resulting responsibilities and would be happy to make recommendations if you contact me.)

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