“Sometimes we fight for the wrong rights. Sometimes it is wrong to exercise our rights. Sometimes we need to remember that we have the right to be wronged” (Jason Sparks).
We get all wrapped up in our “rights,” don’t we? We’ve codified them in what we call the Bill of Rights for easy reference. We have our First Amendment rights We have our Second Amendment rights. And the list goes on. We light up social media with calls to defend our rights. Heaven help the poor soul who dares to question or threaten our rights.
Jesus and His apostles never spent much time talking about rights. And even when they did, it was usually in ways that make us uncomfortable. Instead of always standing up for their rights, they often willingly surrendered them and encouraged others to do so. The Savior refused to stubbornly cling to what was rightfully his, but gave it all up to accomplish our redemption (Philippians 2:5-8). Instead of a Christian taking another Christian to court and harming the church’s witness (something they would have had the “right” to do), Paul said this to the Corinthians: “Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded?” (1 Corinthians 6:7). Later in the same letter, Paul affirmed that he had a right to be supported as a preacher of the gospel, yet he willingly surrendered that right for the advancement of kingdom (1 Corinthians 9:1-23; cf. 2 Thessalonians 3:7-9).
I’m grateful for the rights I have as an American citizen. But I must never forget that I have a higher citizenship where my rights are not the primary issue. Its a higher calling where my rights often overshadowed by the needs of others. Perhaps my greatest “right” as a child of God is the ability to surrender that right for the purposes of God. Am I willing to defend my right to be wronged?
God loves you!