My pastor stated that God is not further away from us. We are not deserving of God or closer to Him based on what we do or what we are able to accomplish. It reminded me of what Kimberly Foster (For Harriet) stated about how in our society we grant grace to the people we perceive as worthy, hardworking, or have something to show for the kindness they have been given. Utilizing the Simone Biles situation during the Olympics as an example, she questioned whether the support Biles received was due to the fact that she was a gold medalist. Would the same support occur if she wasn’t a decorated athlete?
Is that grace and support people demonstrate contingent on her merits? Would she have received the same kindness if she hadn’t earned it through the her many well deserved accolades?
It is a fact that as a society, we do not extend the same grace and kindness to just anybody, especially not to the poor, elderly, or disabled.
We often hear phrases like “you can rest once the work is over”, “you deserve to be proud only if you accomplish this”, “why don’t they just get up and go find a job instead of complaining”…one is allowed to rejoice, complain about status quo, to be celebrated only once certain accomplishments have been reached.
This mentality has even translated into my academics and my faith. I will only be happy, or be deserving of where I am, after I have worked tremendously to get a certain grade or certain position. I have to do these specific things on a daily basis to be deserving of God’s grace and kindness.
Hearing my Pastor’s message, it made me more grateful to have found God and to be a believer. It reminded me of how much and why our God is the almighty. The fact that He loves us not based on our work and merits, shows how merciful He is and how we should be towards each other. Equity can be only be found through this way. Our society (the American society I should specify) separates people and grants them certain privileges and rights based on their class. But God gives grace to all those who believe so we are all equal in His eyes. You don’t deserve His grace nor are you better than someone else based on your degree, occupation, abilities, income, position in church leadership, or how much you give or do compared to your neighbor.
In the same way, being deserving of basic human rights, deserving of safety, shelter, kindness, love, good living conditions should not be dependent on people’s merits.
I wish we could all let go of this idea of meritocracy because honestly it is truly a false ideology that does not exist especially in a society with so much structural discrimination that has constructed generational wealth for and continues to benefit a certain demographic.
I am not saying do not ever celebrate your wins or accomplishments. I am saying that no matter what a person should be granted joy, grace, kindness not just when they have something to show for them, not just when they accomplish something.
The good news with God is that grace it’s not down to our efforts but His mercy.
Video to Watch: Is it even worth it to work hard? Let’s discuss #IDontDreamofLabor (For Harriet, Kimberly Foster)
Book of the Month: Currently reading Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree