Wk 3 Dignity
This week we continue the idea of Value, but focus on Digntiy.
God has a purpose for you. No matter how dark, how bad, how far you feel away from that purpose, it exists for you. Share My personal experiences with how it feels to lose yourself being in an abusive relationship - as if your life force is being taken away. How sexual harassment, assault robs us of innocence leaving us disconnected and disassociating.
Dignity. What does the word Dignity mean anyway?
Dignity is the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect. A sense of pride in oneself, self-respect. Respecting the inherent value and worth of each person.
Do you believe that every human has a core right to dignity?
I do. I believe that every life has a basic core right to be treated with dignity. What does it mean to be treated with dignity?
Most people believe that dignity is about respect. But I choose to differ, dignity is not the same as respect. Dignity is our inherent value and worth as human beings; everyone is born with it. Respect, on the other hand, is earned through one’s actions.
First, treat myself this way.
Second, treat my kids, husband and strangers with a basic level of dignity.
Third, be voice for the voiceless if they don’t feel this way.
In what areas, am I failing to treat myself or others without dignity? There may be no areas, or there may be places I can begin to change my thought or behaviors.
When relationships would end, and I was able to begin a healing process, I would begin to restore this hollowness. Unfortunately, I would reengage in a new abusive relationship and this loss of self would happen all over again.
The truth is this essence never really disappeared, but the value, my importance, my sense of safety, and my life force felt gone. Abusive relationships can strip away another person’s self. Heathy relationships do not feel so destructive or with the same loss of self. When you have experienced more abuse, than healthy, it can be difficult to know there is a different way.
I believe God has made each person for a purpose. I believe that he made me for a purpose. When I have taken the healing steps away from that belief I have done so much healing by experiencing how I treat and love my children. When I look at my children, I know that they were born with specific personalities, talents and gifts. It was very early on in their lives that I knew that they were made for a purpose. So why them and not me?
I believe the Bible speaks directly to treating others with dignity. There are so many scriptures, verses and stories modeled by how Jesus treated others that show what it looks like.
IDEAS FOR SELF REFLECTION?
How do you define dignity?
In your own words, describe what does it mean to be treated with dignity?
Review the series of scriptures below and identify at least one verse that links with your description of dignity.
Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
John 13:16 “Truly, truly I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.”
Genesis 1:27 “So, God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
Matthew 7:12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
1 John 3:17 “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?”
John 15:17 “These things I command you, so that you will love one another.”
Mark 12:30 and 31 or Matthew 25 “Love the Lord your god with all your soul. The second is this “You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Colossians 4:1-18 “Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven….”
Luke 6:36 “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”
Mark 2:13-17 “Jesus said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call other righteous, but sinners.”
Luke 10:17 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.:”
WHAT CAN I DO?
Brainstorm areas in your life that you are treated well and with dignity by others? Is this at work, church, community, family etc. Are there places or specific people who come to mind when you feel you are not treated with dignity? Describe them here. How specifically how do they treat you? What happens to you? When you are treated this way how do you feel. Can you identify emotions that are stirred up or triggered when these things happen?
IDEAS FOR WEEKLY REFLECTION
What are some scriptures that relate to dignity for you?
is no other commandment greater than these.”
What are ways you can take the information about dignity, the scriptures and begin to change the way you feel when others treat you poorly.
Can you speak up and tell them this is not okay?
Sometimes you can’t for different reasons due to culture, safety or position. It would be a great opportunity in this reflection to explore new ideas on how to handle those challenges when you are treated without dignity by others.
What do you believe about Dignity? Share with us.