Truly privileged

The word privilege is used in our culture today for a variety of reasons but mostly to define benefits given to people of a certain race or income level. This isn’t a political or social blog so I will be using that word as it is used in the dictionary. That said, the use of the word in our current culture has served as a reminder that I am a truly privileged human being.

In Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, privilege is “a right or immunity granted as a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor.”  

The day I became a child of God, I received the highest honor and privilege I will ever have. It is a privilege offered equally, to everyone on this planet. It is the reason why every Christian should see themselves as a person who is truly privileged. We have been granted unique and eternal favor. 

What are the privileges granted to Christians? 

Christians can be found in countries around the world and come from every race of people and every socioeconomic standing. Christ came to bring God’s peace and unity to all believers. It is profoundly touching that in his last moments on earth Jesus chose to pray for all of us, asking his Father to help us find unity with God and with one another (John 17). 

This world will never be completely fair, and every human being has a sin nature that causes division and false judgment. Every human being has “sinned and fallen short” of the glory that God would have designed for our lives. Knowing that truth doesn’t mean we should resign ourselves to being less than God wants us to be. The Holy Spirit is the character of Christ given to every believer. We can always seek to live according to the Spirit’s leadership. None of us will be perfect, but all of us can do better. 

The apostle Paul put it this way: 

So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:12–17) 

The high and holy privileges granted to Christians are the result of our adoption by God. He is our Father. We are “fellow heirs” with Jesus and blessed by the filling of God’s Holy Spirit. Everyone who has made Jesus their Lord and Savior can look in the mirror and see a truly privileged person reflected there. 

Christians have been privileged with the promise of: 

  • Eternal life (Revelation 22:14)
  • Eternal health (Philippians 3:20–21)
  • An eternal home (John 14:2)
  • A new and perfect life without pain, sadness, guilt, debt, sin, disease, and grief (Revelation 21)

I know that walking with God enhances our earthly lives, but our eternal promises don’t always apply to life this side of heaven. This life is temporary and subject to illness, disease, and sin. Jesus actually promised “tribulation” here on earth. The great privilege we can claim for each day is the hope that Jesus promised we will “overcome” this life and exchange it for the perfect life he described as heaven. 

Why will God hold us accountable for the privileges he has given us? 

I know that my life on earth is privileged as well. I had two parents who loved me, cared for me, and worked hard to provide for me. Neither of them came from opportunity, but they made sure that I would.  

I’m also privileged to have attended churches that taught me God’s word and encouraged me to walk with God. I’m privileged to have had pastors, teachers, and friends who strengthened my faith journey and helped me know God at deeper levels.  

I’m greatly privileged to have married the man God chose for me. No one who truly knows us would say we have had an easy life, but those same people could point to God’s abundant blessings. It is our great privilege to be in ministry and serve God as we serve others. 

The great privilege of ministry also comes with great accountability. Jesus was teaching a parable on this subject when he said, “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master’” (Matthew 25:21). 

As Christians, we can know that there will be times when serving God and others will be truly exhausting. In fact, ministry is almost impossible to do apart from the filling of God’s strength and wisdom. The fact that it is difficult doesn’t mean we aren’t truly privileged to serve. Jesus is our high and holy example of what it means to live a sacrificial life of service. Our lives should always be lived with his example as our standard. 

We will never outwork or outgive God. Whatever we are called by God’s Holy Spirit to accomplish in this life is God’s path of blessing for us, now and eternally. 

We are called to share all that we have been privileged to receive 

I know some people will read my words and think I don’t understand. Truthfully, I don’t understand because I haven’t walked in their shoes. Some truths in this life are only learned by living them.  

We all have a story, and everyone’s story is unique. I was born into opportunities that I didn’t earn. I was taught to do my best to use the opportunities that I was given. I know that my life is a product of great privilege and I do not know who I would be had I been born into different circumstances. I also know that my greatest privileges are the result of my salvation in Christ. 

I am deeply grateful for the opportunities that I have been given. I know I am accountable to God to use my opportunities in this life, to share the gospel message and the promise of heaven with everyone I can. To whom much is given, much will be required (Luke 12:48). 

If you are a Christian, you are truly privileged. 

Whom will you share your privileges with this week?