Oppression is the exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner. Notice key words like ‘burdensome or cruel.’ To understand how these words are important, it is good to note that God created us to be in relationship with each other, not to be a lord over another.
We see oppression in many forms. A man can oppress a woman. A parent can oppress a child. A leader can oppress those whom he or she leads. One group can oppress another group. We see a prime example of this in the book of Exodus (in the Bible), where the Israelites were slaves to the Egyptians. At one point Moses is appointed by God to free the Israelites from their slavery. However, when Moses came to inform the Pharaoh, the Pharaoh responded by adding more work to be done; the oppression increased.
We see this happen often in marriages as well. That is why the statistics for domestic violence are so high. One spouse ‘oppresses’ the other by use of some kind of control. This is not how a marriage is to be. In a marriage there is to be mutual love and the giving of themselves to each other.
People can be oppressed by addictions as well. When a person ‘has to have’ a drink, or a cigarette, or a drug, they are oppressed by this substance. The substance ‘controls’ their life.
God wants to break us free of any oppression. Free of our sin, free of the abuses, free of the cruelty. God, who is love, wants us to experience love. God created us in love, and made us to experience love. As children of God, we need to not only seek God to break us of our oppression, but help others to break free as well. As we are told in Galatians 6:2, “Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”What oppressions do you see around you? How can you break free of them? How can you help others break free? Blessings.