We talk a lot about rights these days. Yet the attention given to human entitlements hasn’t brought about corporate or personal freedom. Instead, most people are prisoners of jealousy (You have greater rights than I do!), greed (I deserve more!), or bitterness (My rights have been violated!).
In lieu of focusing on what is due them, Christians should follow Christ’s command to love enemies and forgive persecutors (Matt. 5:44). Believers lay down their rights so they can take up the cause of a holy kingdom. That doesn’t mean we let people trample on us. Rather, we offer a proper response according to biblical principles. In short, we should be more concerned about showing God’s love to those who wrong us than insisting on privileges we assume are rightfully ours.
Perhaps you’re thinking that I don’t know how you’ve been mistreated. Indeed I don’t. But I do know how Jesus reacted to terrible abuse. He was betrayed by His friends, persecuted by His people, condemned by His peers, and crucified for our sins. Yet He said, “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:34).
Before assuming that Jesus’ capacity for forgiveness and love is out of reach for mere human beings, remember: His Spirit dwells in believers. We can choose to give away our rights and let God’s love work through us.
Luke 6:29 says to turn the other cheek and give up more than is asked because expressing love outweighs exerting our rights. You can’t lose when you show others the boundless care of the Lord. You gain His blessing, and what’s more, someone could be saved because of your example.