Rights or Privileges?

  • 9 January 2020

In my post yesterday, I made the following statement: “You may feel like you have a right to hold on to your feelings, but Jesus gave up His rights for you. Why can’t you give up your ‘rights’ for Him?” This evening, I opened my Bible study and what do you think the subject was? That’s right. Rights! In fact, that was the title of today’s lesson, and it has me thinking more about this topic.

I’ve not read The Five Love Languages, but I understand the topic and when people ask me what my love language is, I reply, “I just like to be loved.” I can put my language in the order of preference but the fact is, no matter what the kindness, I will feel it deeply. For those who are not familiar with this, the languages as defined by Gary Chapman are: quality time, gifts, physical touch, words of affirmation, and acts of service. This last one was the one that I used to say wasn’t one I felt strongly … until a couple years ago when my sister suggested that this was probably because I felt like people owed me those. Ouch! That was not what I wanted to hear! But I expect that she was right. I didn’t realize it but I was blinded to just how much others did for me. I no longer say that acts of service don’t make me feel loved, because they do too.

One of the things my study had me do was make a list of the top ten rights that I feel like I have as a human being. I had to really ponder this because, again, I don’t think of myself as wanting my “rights,” but I expect that everyone feels like they should be loved and appreciated for the things they do. We feel like our family has to love us because we exist. Maybe you feel like you should get the promotion that just came up at work because you have worked there the longest and it’s about time they recognize you. But these are not “rights”; they are privileges. When these things happen to you, thank the Lord for His mercy. You and I deserve Hell. Plain and simple. If you have people who love you, that is a blessing. Ingratitude begins to take root when we think we deserve the good things we receive, and that is the opposite of thanksgiving which is the attitude we are told to exhibit in everything.

So, my friends, this may be the message of the year for my readers and myself: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18). And meditate on Philippians 2:5-8:

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

May we, like Christ, be willing to humble ourselves and surrender our rights completely to our Heavenly Father. Lord, send a revival and let it begin with me!


As a side note, if you are looking for a good Bible study, I highly recommend The Walk of Repentance. It is a great resource to really examine your heart in light of God’s Word. It’s a 6-month study but you can go at your own pace and take longer if you need to. Even if you think you are where you need to be with the Lord, this could be the thing that draws you even closer to Him.


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