If you have been in the workforce for any length of time, you have probably experienced discrimination of some type or another.
Maybe you have experienced gender discrimination due to being a woman in the workplace. Overlooked for promotions, treated differently on the onset simply because of your gender.
Perhaps you have experienced racial discrimination. The simple color of your skin or ethnic background has been used as a qualifier to your abilities.
Or maybe you have faced age-discrimination. Not even being considered for a position due to your advanced years.
Whatever your situation, it’s safe to say that we have all experienced some type of discrimination in our workplace calling.
I’ve been there: I’ve been called “sweetie” and ‘babe”.
I have had to fight to make a salary commensurate to my male counterparts.
I have had my advice passed over only to watch a male counterpart, with the exact same advice, praised for his insight and contribution.
This topic is all over the media, to no avail. People will continue to be discriminated against due to gender, race or age, as long as human beings are in places of position. Why?
Every human has biases. you have them too, even if you don’t realize it. Within our flawed human nature is a natural tendency to align ourselves with those who are similar to ourselves. We give preference to others who are like us. Birds of a feather, flock together.
It’s not right. In fact, it’s wrong and sinful and against the very heart of God. God has created everybody in His image-even those who openly oppose Him and declare that He doesn’t exist.
So what is a woman of God in the workplace to do? How do we deal with Workplace Discrimination that honors God and guards our hearts from becoming cynical?
[Tweet “How can we deal with Discrimination God’s way?”]
God, and God’s people are no stranger to discrimination. God’s chosen people, Israel, have faced -and still face-discrimination all over the world. We may have trouble getting a promotion, but there are country leaders who are bent to destroy the whole nation of Israel.
Scripture bears out, I believe, three different options for dealing with discrimination in the workplace. As one article is hardly sufficient to take a surface look at these, we will explore those three paths next Wednesday.
What is elemental before we look at those paths is to understand the reasons behind discrimination.
1. Sin Nature-People who have a relationship with God have biases too, but people who do not have a relationship with God have even more. Why? Because they still have a sinful nature. You, as a believer have been given a new nature in Christ. Others are not so fortunate. They have not yet experienced the beauty of God’s grace which allows us to see our own faults and the faults of others in the light of God’s mercy. Do not expect an unbeliever to act like a believer. It’s impossible. They are powerless to say no to sin and their sinful nature. So don’t be surprised when they treat you differently based solely on your gender, race or age.
2. Spiritual Warfare-you only have one enemy in this world, and it isn’t the person who is discriminating against you you. It’s satan. satan hates you. He wants nothing more than to see you discouraged, distracted and disengaged from your relationship with God. If satan can get our eyes off of God and onto others, or ourselves, he wins. And he knows it. Satan want to destroy you, and will do anything to bring about that destruction-including using discrimination.
[Tweet “Our role, as daughters of the King dealing with discrimination, is to start with the correct view of the situation.”]
If we can see this instance of discrimination through the eyes of God, and view the people involved with God’s heart, we will go a long way to resolving the current discrimination we face in our workplace.
3. Self-view- One premise that is necessary prior to exploring how to deal with discrimination in the workplace is for us to understand who you are in Christ.
You are a daughter of the Almighty King. You are beloved and cherished. You are an amazing creation formed by the hand of the same God that made the universe in all of its splendor. You are unique, created for purposes that God had in mind for you before you were born.
You are not a label. You cannot be lumped into a category of gender, race or age. You belong to something better than this world. You were not created to fit into the molds of this world, but rather to conform to the beautiful image of the Son who is beloved of the Father.
The sooner you realize who you are in Christ, the easier it will be to not allow this world’s definitions to define you.
Be who God made you to be-no more, no less.
The choice is ours. Will we start the process by seeking God, seeing ourselves as God sees us; or decide to take the labels of the world to heart and view of the situation through our own eyes?
The world is screaming at us loud and clear to expose and defeat discrimination in the workplace. My human nature cannot disagree. Next week we will look at three God-centered ways to handle this issue in the workplace. Stay tuned.
What about you?
Have you faced discrimination in the workplace?
How have you dealt with this?
What do you think the real solution to discrimination is? And can this be achieved here on earth?