Accepting Disability

As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you, and even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. Galatians 4:13-14

So often we find it easier to focus on the things that we are unable to do, than those things we are able to do. We may often do that with other people as well, focus on what consider to be weaknesses rather than what they do well and what they bring to us.

This week, we are focussing on the equality act’s protected characteristic of disability. There are so many issues surrounding this that it may be difficult to focus – but I shall try. Firstly, I think that there can be automatic assumptions that people make. If they SEE someone with a disability, they may focus on what they assume they can’t do. Unfortunately people can also assume that a disability is something that should be seen, and can make assumptions about people who seemingly don’t have disability but may be using disabled systems.

Martina Navratalova said “disability is a matter of perception. If you can do just one thing we’ll you are needed”

Absolutely everyone has something that they can do that others can’t. Everyone has abilities that are a blessing to other people.

As with all of the protected characteristics, a lot of the time all it would take is a bit of time to get to know other people to see what their situation is, and to know how they can be helped to be able to reach their full potential.

Another issue, that possibly doesn’t help perception, is the word itself – disability. It automatically suggests it’s a bad thing, that that person is at a disadvantage. However, is that always the case? In Galatians Paul writes

As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you, and even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. Galatians 4:13-14

This shows us two things, good things can come out of what we call a disability, but also we should welcome, embrace, encourage those with disabilities, as if they are Christ.

Prayer: thank you Lord that you made us individually and that you love us. Thank you that we can all bring something to society, and help us to see that everyone has a part to play. Amen

Challenge: encourage those around you by telling them their abilities and what they bring to your life

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