To View the Video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/k9cvD-SdV4c
Welcome to a new week of the Hope Rescue Podcast. This week, Tim is alone on the podcast discussing the topic of microaggressions. You may be wondering, what are microaggressions and how do they affect me today? Keep listening or reading to find out!
Microaggressions are defined “as a statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group such as a racial or ethnic minority.” MIcroaggressions are not obvious offensive statements, but more subtle and insidious comments and behaviors. Microaggressions can be intentional or unintentional and sometimes even well-meaning. But they communicate hostile, derogatory or negative racial messages or assumptions to the receiver.
For example, a microaggression could be asking an Asian person to help with a Math or Science problem. Or possibly a white person saying, “I’m not a racist. I have several Black friends.” Or possibly assuming a female doctor is a nurse because she is a woman. The speaker in all of these cases could have good intentions but still offend someone. We can have the best intentions and still offend people. Christians may be more familiar with microaggressions like: "Christians are bigots, Christians hate women, Christians don’t believe in science, or Christians hate homosexuals.”
Sometimes people intend to hurt others, but often with microaggressions, the speaker says something offensive out of ignorance, not with malicious intent. The problem with microaggressions is that they make people so sensitive and everyone is constantly nitpicking what others say. Yes, we should be sensitive to what other people have gone through, but we need to not be so sensitive to other people’s careless statements. Another problem with microaggressions is that they put people on edge. People are so afraid of saying the wrong thing around the wrong person that they don’t express how they feel. Another problem with microaggressions is that they make every person a victim. When we focus our attention on microaggressions, we live with a victim mindset that can trap us and prevent us from truly healing.
How can we address this topic from a Christian perspective? Colossians 4:6 says, "Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” Is your speech always gracious? What about when you talk to your children, your spouse, your barista, or the cashier at the grocery store? Colossians 4:6 doesn’t say be gracious “sometimes” or “whenever someone earns grace.” It says to let our speech “always be gracious.” How does your speech taste to the listener? Is it palatable and encouraging or is it harmful and insulting?
We all will say things we regret and wish we could take back. We are imperfect people with numerous emotions, and we are bound to mess up. But something we can always do when we say something offensive, even if we meant it in the heat of a moment, is apologize. We can always tell someone we are sorry and we love them. We need to take responsibility for what we say to people and be sensitive to people’s experiences.
If a person is highly sensitive about a certain topic such as their gender, weight, race, or sexual orientation, we as Christians we need to be sensitive to them. First Corinthians 8:12-13 says, “Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.”
The law of love is greater than the law of liberty. The law of love causes us to set aside our freedoms and rights out of love for someone else. First Corinthians 10:23 says, “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful, but not all things build up.” Keep your focus on the most important thing: the love of God. If your focus is on the love of God when you speak to others, you will try to speak graciously and season your speech with salt.
It’s never a weakness to defer to a weaker brother. It doesn’t make you weak to love someone well. If you are driven by the love of God, you will be sensitive to how others feel because microaggressions often stem from personal insecurities. Romans 5:5 says, “and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Speak well, seasoned with salt and full of grace.
“We can have the best intentions and still offend people. Always speak graciously and season your speech with salt.” -Tim
“It’s never a weakness to sacrifice your freedoms for someone you love.” -Tim
Colossians 4:6 "Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
1 Corinthians 8:7-13 “However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol's temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.”
1 Corinthians 10:23 “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.”
Romans 5:5 “and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”