My Struggle with “Privilege”

For a long time, I struggled with the concept of “privilege.”  The truth is, I know I am very blessed.  I have enjoyed many privileges in my life.

But this word bothered me because I felt like it fueled the victim-mentality in our culture, elevating certain victims or underprivileged to a bizarre form of elitism.  I think we need to be careful that we don’t do this, and I do think it happens sometimes, which can make us quick to say we’re a victim, too.

Certainly we are all dealt a different hand in life, there can be no denying this fact.  Opportunities unfortunately are not equally available to everyone.

We are all privileged in some ways.  And we are all underprivileged in other ways.  We are all a victim of our upbringing and a product of our choices and life experiences.  But we need to be careful not to turn life into a victim competition.

After much reflection and prayer, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is worth discussing the concept of privilege.

Because our privileges may enable some of us to speak out and be heard more than others, but a lack of privilege should never keep anyone from speaking out or being heard.

No matter your level of privilege or underprivilege, no matter what you’ve endured, no matter how blessed or broken you may feel right now, please know that you are loved.

Mercy is always a privilege, and it is the one privilege that is always available to everyone.  Because mercy comes to us from the Cross.  And the Cross is for us all.

Mercy is “love when it encounters suffering, poverty, brokenness, and sin.”  It requires action, love, and sacrifice, a giving of one’s self for the good of another.  We are all equipped and hard wired to give and receive love in the form of mercy.

The struggle is that this is hard work for us on earth.  The struggle is that all this giving and loving and serving causes discomfort.  And receiving love is difficult because we can feel so unworthy.

True love is never simple.  It is always sacrificial.  

Giving genuine love and mercy is often painful.  It’s often easier to fall into our sinful nature than it is to reject our sinful nature and to seek loving action.  God knows how hard this is for us, and that’s why He came down, humbled himself, and died for us all.

Because without His help, we wouldn’t have a chance at getting it right.

Receiving true love and mercy is shocking and humbling.  “You would do that?” we think, just like the Beast when Belle takes her father’s place in the prison cell.  (I have so many Disney movie references to pull from, guys, stay tuned!)

Someone is ready to take your place in your suffering and pain and brokenness, too.

It’s time to tell the whole world. Mercy is the privilege that’s always available to everyone.  Claim it.  Share it.  You’re worth it.  

I’d love to know your thoughts on privilege – let me know below!

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