Rights. As citizens of the United States of America, we have them. Our society functions best when we respect the rights of others, and trust them to do the same with ours. Each one of us has exercised those rights and sometimes defended them against injustice.
As a child of God you also have unique rights. One in particular brings with it the promise of great blessing. This right is not one you defend or exercise. You have been given the freedom to lay down your rights. That’s the model Jesus gave us, and what God challenges you to do:
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant” (Philippians 2:5-7).
Why did He do this? Stated just a few verses later, it was “to the glory of God the Father.” That’s why we, too, lay down our rights.
We can relinquish the right to be noticed, understood and appreciated for the privilege of seeing, understanding and acknowledging the needs of another.
We can lay down the right to retaliate against someone who has wronged us so God’s love can flow through us.
In laying down our rights, we rise up into our greatest God-given freedom: the privilege of displaying the glory of God. Jesus laid down His rights as the sinless Son of God and took on our sin. Because of His selfless act, we might become the righteousness of God. Yet when we grapple for self-ordained rights and feel entitled to certain thoughts and behaviors, we hide and hinder the righteous life of God in us. He fail to live for His glory.
“Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
What choices can you make today to relinquish your rights and serve those around you?