Monday, February 10, 2020

Which Ism Weighs You Down?

As I chatted with my brother, once more, the conversation turned to racism. In his case, he lamented the fact that it always seems to rear its ugly head when he least expected it; when he thought he was doing everything right. What makes it difficult is knowing the cause but assigning the blame to other factors. "Let's go back to the drawing board; let's rethink this idea; you seem angry when you're presenting." Frustration builds when you've seen similar tactics work for others and not for you; others don't have to go back to the drawing board or have their speech assessed. Instead, their ideas are accepted while they continue to thrive.

Racism, sexism, feminism, classism, ableism, anti-semitism - common issues today with the common theme of denigrating those they affect. As a black woman, I've dealt with a couple of these in my life. Racism is prevalent and comes up often in many conversations because it affects the professional and the personal. There's no denying racism though
many debate its existence. Its effects on those affected are myriad and pervasive: anger, outspokenness, bravery, passiveness, depression, insecurity, stress, sickness, imprisonment.  Sexism and feminism are also hot button items for me. In my West Indian culture, which is primarily patriarchal, women can get the short end of the stick. Walking around with these isms over your head can be debilitating, but it doesn't have to be.

But for me, I choose not to live as someone getting the short end of the stick and here's why:

I'm perfect - God created me perfectly; he looked at my brown skin, he looked at my femininity, He looked at my inner and outer parts, and He declared, "I was Good." Guess what? I believe Him. I praise Him because I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14); therefore, I walk through life like the wonder I am.
God's Righteousness - God is righteous and speaks and acts under the purity of His nature. Christians are called to live righteously based on our relationship with Him. Righteousness is the quality of being right or morally justifiable. God is always righteous and just; we humans often fail becoming like the Israelites: For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes (Romans 10:3,4 ESV).
Wisdom - God's word is a source of wisdom for dealing with isms. Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him, there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes (1 John 2:9-11 ESV) We can't hate our brothers and sisters and call ourselves children of God. But as a recipient of hate, we can see that those that hate us are not our brothers or sisters. So, we endure wisely, not passively. We become wise as serpents yet harmless as doves. We know that Greater is He that is in us, and we use the weapon of our faith to tear down walls of hate.

What it comes down to is doing the work on yourself, so you can impact those in your sphere one person at a time. It may not seem like you're making a difference, but you are. When you become weary, recharge in Him and keep going. No one can solve all the world's problems - that's God's assignment. Your assignment (Micah 6:8) is to walk through this world boldly, speak life, love wisely, while letting his fruit emanate in your life. Perhaps each of our lives can have ripple effects until strongholds in the form of isms are broken down, and all of these harmful teachings are untaught and replaced with God's love. But we have hope - it won't always be this way. In eternity, with Jesus, every ism will be eliminated. In the meantime, by God's grace, we're still here.

In righteousness, you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear;    and from terror, for it shall not come near you. No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord." Isaiah 54:14, 17

What ism bothers you the most? How do you deal with it? I challenge you to strengthen your relationship with God so you can rest in His promises as you navigate life's challenges.

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  1. There is so much to love in this post, Nylse. Here are a few things that really spoke to me this morning. I walk through life like the wonder I am. What it comes down to is doing the work on yourself, so you can impact those in your sphere one person at a time. Perhaps each of our lives can have ripple effects until strongholds in the form of isms are broken down, and all of these harmful teachings are untaught and replaced with God's love. Everyday I do my best to chose love over judgment and to be kind. Thank you for the encouragement and inspiration. I found your blog through Lisa's GRAND Social. I hope you have a lovely day.

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  2. Nylse, I am so glad that God's Word, His love letter to us, is the ultimate source of wisdom when dealing with isms! Great post. Thank you for sharing.

    Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

  3. I too find racism sad, sexism annoying & since aging agism had been quite a shock! I keep my focus on the Lord & walk in His statutes.
    And I will challenge those who are demonstrating any "ism" behaviors in my presence, gently but confidently.
    Bless you,

  4. I wish we didn't have all these 'isms. But I know that we do. And denying they exist only makes it worse. The two that I see the most around me are racism and sexism. I'm glad God sees us beyond the way the world does!

    Oh, I've also been noticing agism the last couple of years too. Ouch! I guess I wasn't ready for that one to hit yet.

  5. I needed to read this today. I have been letting others view of me define me. I am made in God's image and perfect in his eyes thanks to the blood of Jesus. #trafficjamweekend

  6. Nylse, I loved your thought: " I walk through life like the wonder I am."

    Awesome! I'm going to remember that for a long, long time.

  7. The Word of God and the life of Jesus are certainly the most important guides to life and living, and especially for leaving behind worldly thought and living as obedient children of God who show Christ to EVERYONE.

    Thanks so much for sharing your insights and the Wisdom from above.

  8. Such a wonderful and insightful thought provoking post. So many isms bother me. I cannot even believe that we are still needing to have these conversations in 2020, but it is the unfortunate reality of the world in which we live. I am loving and kind to all people but yet we are still met with so much harsh judgment and cruel words. If only all religious God loving people thought the same way as you, but I so often come under fire with cruel words and judgments thrown at me in the name of religion. It just makes me sad. And in all honesty, it tends to create judgments from me which is not at all comfortable for me because it is not who I am. But like you said, we must walk boldly and love wisely and trust the process. Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom and for joining my link party.


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