I have observed that privilege, in most instances, leads to cognitive blindness; a condition where you reject any worldview not aligned with yours or don’t appreciate what you haven’t personally experienced.
The top 5 most abused privileges are; gender, racial, religious, class and political.
I’ve found that the exceptions are very rare; in my circle of colleagues and friends, I’m aware of less than a handful of individuals who are not blinded in any way by their privilege….and I’m not one of them.
In my opinion unchecked privilege is so perilous, it can cost you eternity.
The most influential man to have walked this earth, Jesus, was born to poor parents in an economically deprived region, under the oppression of the most brutal imperial regimes.
He was forced into political exile at a young age.
He suffered rejection from his siblings.
Some of his townsfolk even taunted him as having been born out of wedlock. He was explicitly rejected in his hometown.
He associated himself mostly with the outcasts and the underprivileged. His ministry received financial support mostly from underprivileged women.
He eventually died on a Roman cross; a fate reserved only the abject criminals, slaves and political rebels.
Jesus was simply the antithesis of privilege!
Here is the thing; if any of these top 5 privileges apply to you; you are highly vulnerable to aggressively malignant cognitive blindness. Therefore, you need to have your cognitive lenses and filters reality checked regularly.
How do you do this?
You do this by going to the other side; especially where your kind of privilege has been abused. You listen to their experiences, pain and frustrations of being on the receiving end from those that are privileged like you.
You repent and pray for forgiveness for yourself and your fellow privileged brethren. You invest your resources in the lives of those that are less privileged than you.
Jesus cast aside his heavenly privileges and immersed himself in our deeply corrupted and broken world. He invested his life for humanity, who had been usurped of the ultimate privilege of fellowship with God.
On the cross, Jesus was stripped of his ultimate earthly privilege, fellowship with his father, so it could be restored to us. In other words, Jesus sacrificed his privileges so we could gain them.
In the final analysis, your privilege will either blind you, if you seek to preserve it or bring forth light to if, like Jesus, you cast it aside.