BEING CHOSEN CAUSING EXPLOITATION by Rector Chris Girata
BEING CHOSEN CAUSING EXPLOITATION was published in the Katy Trail Weekly, "The Good Word" Column, January 18, 2020
Chris Girata is the Rector of Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Dallas, TX.
I think this is a common feeling. We all want to belong, to be chosen and approved of by others. Even those who aggressively defend against this feeling are likely being a bit dishonest. We are human, after all, and desiring approval is part of our nature.
We all want to belong, to be chosen and approved of by others.
In our current social and political climate, I believe the desire to be a part of a group, to be chosen by others, is being exploited. More and more, it seems as though people in leadership roles create mutually exclusive identity options: either you’re with us or against us. This false dichotomy is damaging to our collective psyches. We struggle to know who we are supposed to be and how we are supposed to act. We struggle with the human desire to be kind and the need to be chosen. Perhaps there is a better way to be.
I believe that we are all put here with purpose. We all have unique gifts that give us unique opportunities, so why does it seem as though people try to hide their uniqueness in favor of conforming to a more bland, general identity? I think part of the problem is that we wonder if what makes us unique could jeopardize whether we will be chosen by others. Instead, let me make sure that you know one important truth. You have already been chosen.
Each one of us has been chosen by God. No one is left out of God’s chosen group. We have each been placed here for a purpose, with gifts that will help us accomplish our work, in order to help our world move toward a more loving, just and healthy reality. Our primary responsibility is to know ourselves and to use our gifts for those sacred purposes.
No one is left out of God’s chosen group
What if you began to see your unique character and abilities as special gifts meant to be shared with those around you? What if you stopped criticizing your shortcomings and started celebrating your strengths? What if you knew, deep in your bones, that you are loved and have been chosen and will always be chosen? How would you live differently today and in the future?
As we get away from the holiday rush and leave fully into a new year, I think these questions help us take stock of who we are, what is more important and how we can make an impact in our world. You have each been gifted with a purpose that is yours and yours alone. This year, I invite you to start putting down the pressure to be accepted by the world and begin to own the gifts you have been given. Only then can we begin to heal our broken world.
"The Good Word" Column is published bi-weekly, and can be picked up at the Saint Michael South Entrance.
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