When Rights Are Wrong

My generation has witnessed the call for every kind of right imaginable:  from basic civil rights to well . . . vegetable rights. In between, there have been some things that aren’t so humorous—the right to put the unborn to death, the right to do what no civilization has ever done and redefine the marriage relationship, and now there are many who are calling to redefine gender.

It seems that we now have so many rights we’re never wrong. If someone points to something in our behavior that they don’t think is right, we just look upon them as someone who needs to be re-educated and enlightened in regard to our need and right to do whatever it is they questioned. And if push comes to shove we can always lawyer up. Lawyers are now present at some parent-teacher conferences. Watch any pharmaceutical advertisement on television and more time is spent issuing disclaimers than actually talking about the product. According to Paul Rubin, professor of economics at Emory University, we spend about 310 billion dollars per year on litigation—that’s about $1,000 per person.

No one wants to live in a world where there is no judicial system or lawyers, but the emphasis and expansion on our rights has not brought out the best in us. We’re marching, fighting, strident, shrill and we won’t back down. Those who oppose in any form or fashion are haters. There is no toleration, moderation or reconciliation—just more and more fragmentation.

In 1 Corinthians 6 Paul addresses a church, mind you, where its members were hauling each other to court (v. 6)! (It’s makes you wonder how they handled things when brother Smith and brother Jones both requested the prayers of the church in regard to their court appearance. Who knows? Maybe they had a “Bring Your Lawyer Day” at Corinth).

We do know this: Paul tells them that their inability to work things out on their own (which would include getting the counsel of others in the church – v.2 and v. 5) and taking their dispute to court meant “you have been completely defeated already” (v. 7). He then goes for the jugular as he asks two penetrating questions: “Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?” (v. 7).

Is it possible that our hypersensitivity and willingness to go for vitriol over everything means that we have already been defeated? Is it possible that what we believe we have to have for our good isn’t as important as the greater good? Is it possible for us let go of some things so everyone can move forward? These are not questions for the immature or faint of heart. The answers we chose to give though will say a lot about us and the kind of world we want to live in.

Qualify the above any way that you see fit but take into account the blind men of Indostan.

1 Corinthians


Published by A Taste of Grace with Bruce Green

I grew up the among the cotton fields, red clay and aerospace industry of north Alabama. My wife and I are blessed with three adult children and five grandchildren.

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