Rising above discouragement

May 16th, 2017

Sarah Bessey, author of the book Jesus Feminist, began the hashtag #ThingsOnlyChristianWomenHear on Twitter and it quickly went viral! Women responded with their personal experiences of feeling discriminated against by the church. Posts included incidents of women feeling silenced, dismissed or even abused by other Christians. Despite personal opinions about female leadership within the church, there’s no question that, because of their gender, women feel oppressed and experience hurt as a result of the actions or words of other Christians.

The church’s response

Some people argue that the hashtag is a negative way for women to criticize the church in a public forum. Others praise the hashtag for finally giving space for their voice to be heard about their mistreatment. Either way, the hashtag is already out there—so what’s the role of the church through all this? Hopefully, Christians will choose to respond to this hurt with grace, gentleness, and humility. As a Christian community we can learn from this outpouring of hurt by seeking ways to encourage instead of discourage others due to their gender, race or economic status.

Rising up

How do we rise above oppression and discouragement? Persevere, persist and never give up! Jesus pursued justice and healing for those who were oppressed, commanding us to go and do likewise! We must not hinder one another from doing good. Whether we feel personally discouraged or observe it happening to others, we must persevere in doing good, especially when evil tries to tear us down. Surely even Jesus Christ felt oppressed. Yet, he persevered to show others that God’s love and goodness always defeats evil. Just as Jesus was anointed with God’s power, we too are anointed with the same power, capable of conquering hate and injustice. Our strength comes from relying on the help of the Holy Spirit. The Bible is full of encouragement reminding us we belong to the Almighty. When we listen to godly encouragement, we can go into the world with strength, lifting up others with holy words of truth.

Question of the day: What have you been told that you can’t do because of your gender, age, economic status, or race?
Focal scriptures: Hebrews 3:7-14; Luke 18:1-8; Isaiah 41:8-14

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

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