I think when I began this blog site I assumed its content would revolve around the misconceptions and lies that kept me from personally walking in the freedom of Christ. I battled for so many years on the fertile soil of my own broken mind that my perspective of taking my thoughts captive was pretty limited to those misconceptions and lies that related to who God was as He related to me. There were plenty of those to keep me busy writing for a while!
Lately, however, I’ve come face to face with the realization that often my misconceptions and lies that I believe have a much farther reach than my own mind.
I know that in theory. It makes sense. But as much as I would like to think that I’m not the self-absorbed teenager and young adult I once was, the reality is I’m a whole lot more concerned about getting my thoughts right for my sake than I often am about getting them right for the sake of others.
The past several weeks our social media feeds have been set ablaze with opinions and perspectives on some very controversial and difficult issues surrounding race. I have friends and family who would all “check” the same box on a survey question regarding their faith, and yet their Facebook and Twitter feeds could not be further divided than they are on this issue.
It breaks my heart.
And it seems to point out to me that we are all in desperate need of some thought capturing.
I posted recently on my Facebook page that I was struck by the realization that while I have a lot of things I am tempted to worry about for my son and husband, whether they will be victimized as a result of their race or profession is not one of those things.
And if I can’t call that a privilege then I’m deluded.
That buzz word gets thrown around a lot and seems to stir up a lot of anger among the people who are accused of having it.
But at the end of the day, privilege, and in this case, white privilege, is simply the reality that there are things that I do not have to experience for the sole reason of the color of my skin.
As a Christian, part of what God calls me to do is to “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15). I’m called to love others with brotherly affection and “outdo one another in showing honor” (Romans 12:10). That means I’m supposed to give preference to others.
I don’t think that command is there to remind us to do those things with people who are like us and have similar experiences to us and are easy to know and love. I think it’s probably there because sometimes, particularly in cases where people have differing life experiences and worldviews, it’s difficult to do those things and we need the reminder.
If I’m going to weep with those who weep, I have to know what they are weeping over.
Which means I have to ask and listen.
In asking and listening I’ve learned a lot. And part of what I’ve learned is I have a lot more asking and listening to do. Another part of what I’ve learned is that I have an opportunity and a responsibility to speak on behalf of those who may otherwise go unheard.
Which is biblical, actually.
Proverbs 31:8 says, “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute.” What that verse means is that we are to plead the cause of those who would, in pleading their own cause, experience oppression from adversaries.
I encourage you, as I continue to challenge and encourage myself, to ask the Lord how He might be calling you to open your mouth for the mute. Ask Him if there are unexposed parts of your heart, hidden prejudices or even just areas where you are unaware of your own privilege that inhibit you from doing so.
If you have time, I encourage you to take a moment and read and/or listen to the links I’m posting below. These are just a couple of voices I’ve come across that seem to rise above the chatter and confusion and speak clearly into our current conversations on race. And if you have other resources please feel free to share them as well! I do encourage you to be discriminatory of what you allow yourself to read and hear. It’s too easy to look for the voices who are saying what we already believe to be right and true.
Let’s be intentional about taking all of our thoughts captive, not just the ones that directly benefit ourselves to do so. Because as believers, the problems of others are our problems too.