Privilege (noun) priv·i·lege| \ ˈpriv-lij
(Def.): a right or immunity granted as a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor.
In 2020, the word privilege has become commonly associated with the preceding adjective, white. I'm not interested in arguing the merits/demerits of this newly coined couplet. Instead, I'd like to take a few moments to ponder different privileges that most of us take for granted – and hopefully our hearts will swell with gratitude for such undeserved favor. Let's begin with an appetizer:
I am privileged, at a superficial level, because I ...
- ... have clean drinking water, free of bacteria and disease, via indoor plumbing.
- ... have the ability to read and comprehend the world's trade language: English.
- ... was born in the USA, the most privileged country in natural resources, freedom, opportunity, etc.
- ... have opposable thumbs (think how difficult it would be to drink your morning coffee without thumbs!)
- ... have access to coffee! (I warned you these privileges may seem superficial).
- ... have glasses and contact lenses to correct my near-and-far-sightedness, allowing me to navigate the world and see Paula's lovely face. (Without these aids, I'm biblically blind).
- ... have a toothbrush. Can you imagine dental health without a toothbrush?
- ... have access to hospitals, doctors, teachers, Panera, a gym, a car, a bicycle.
- ... have a pillow, a blanket, and a bed off the floor – in a room with screens that keep bugs out.
- ... have two pairs of Sanuks ... the most comfortable shoe ever!
- ... have taste buds. Have you ever considered the goodness of God to give us taste buds? What kind of lavishness is that?! They're completely unnecessary for survival, but given by a very good God!
Now it gets even better. At a far more undeserved level, I possess even better privileges, because I ...
- ... had a mother and father who, despite their limitations, loved me profoundly. Mom's humility taught me more about Jesus than anyone else. When I was born to her, I was born on third base – and she made it easy for me to find my way home to Jesus. That is true privilege.
- ... own a copy of the Bible, something most people throughout history didn't have easy access to.
- ... live on this side of the printing press. Wow! This enables me to own my Bible and a thousand other books.
- ... was born after Jesus lived, died and rose from the dead! I get to live between His first and second coming! What a privilege!
- ... heard the good news (Gospel) that Jesus came, lived a perfect life (that I could not), took my punishment for sin in my place, dying for me, for me! ... so the demands of God's laws (that condemned me) became my tutor to expose my need for a Rescue! This is ultimate privilege – God turning on the light of understanding in my soul, to see the beauty of Christ in this simple message.
- ... have been adopted into God's family.
Do you feel privileged? Are you picking up what I'm laying down? If your heart is swelling with gratitude to God, you are. Let me remind you of Jesus' words:
"To whom much is given (to the one who is greatly privileged), much is required." Luke 12:48
In other words, if we understand our privileges, we have a stewardship from God to invest and leverage them for the sake of those who have not yet met Jesus – the Greatest Privilege of all.
The Greatest Privilege of All?
The Greatest Privilege of All is not a what, but a who. If you've read my previous posts, you know I'm speaking of Jesus. Have you come to realize the privilege you've been given to know Jesus? He is the One who already reigns over the entire Universe (but not yet the way it will be). He is not ashamed to call us brothers and sisters (Hebrews 2:11). Let's end this homage to privilege with the following five facts:
If You Know and Love Jesus ...
- You have the only privilege worth dying for.
- You are wealthier than Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Donald Trump, put together.
- You are family to the most Powerful King on the planet, as a dearly loved daughter or son.
- You have access to the One who created millions of stars ... out of nothing.
- The greatest treasure of all is yours – to know and love Jesus!