When Rights Are Wrong

I think that Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians is the most “prickly” of all the books of the Bible. In every chapter Paul writes about issues that are often very personal to us and to those we know…and he is not shy about sharing his opinion, and of course, since the Bible is inspired by God, it is not only Paul’s opinion, but God’s word. In the beginning of 1 Corinthians 6 Paul turns his attention to the practice of followers of Jesus taking other followers of Jesus to court. He condemns this practice and says that the church should be able to resolve these matters, instead of taking their business before the court to be decided by unbelievers. Then Paul says something that hits closer to home for most of us: Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated? No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren!

Most of us are not in the situation of taking other people to court. But here is a case where a general principle applies to all of us. Have you ever considered that it’s wrong to assert your rights? In our society we talk a lot about “rights”. But isn’t is possible that by allowing ourselves to be “cheated”, we could actually “win” the game of life as far as Jesus is concerned? Jesus willingly gave up His right to live, not because He deserved to die but because His death was part of a greater purpose and plan. Isn’t it possible…or even likely that there will be times when by laying down our rights we are actually picking up the mantle of obedience to Christ? By surrendering our rights and accepting wrong at times do we provide God an opportunity to use us to demonstrate His grace, mercy and love? I do believe that at times it is wrong to demand our rights. Will you be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit in these types of issues?

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