devotion - The Rights Revolution

The Rights Revolution

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42

Over the centuries, hundreds of millions of people have been taken advantage of, persecuted, and oppressed. In some cases, they have received worse treatment than animals. As individuals, these human beings had few or no rights in the eyes of those who ruled over them.

For the follower of Jesus Christ, it really isn’t about “my rights”.

In recent years, especially in the western part of the world, we have seen the movement of human rights grow with incredible speed. It has, in many ways, improved the lives of countless people. But in the midst of this progress, there is a growing sense of “right fixation”. We focus all our attention on our individual rights to such an extent that we forget that other people also have rights and that we have the responsibility to do our part in making sure their rights are respected.

Much of the so-called polarization of the United States population can be attributed to this rights revolution.

For anyone who takes seriously their relationship with Jesus Christ, there has to be a profound interest in what he teaches his followers about the matter of their rights in the world in which they live. And Jesus does indeed speak, but as usual, not the way we might want. For Jesus, the exercise of individual rights came down to one thing: “Did it fit in with God the Father’s plan for his life?” That question became immensely relevant when he prayed in a Garden late one Thursday night. Jesus had the right to avoid the cross, to continue his ministry but he didn’t use it. He simply prayed, “Your will be done.”

For the follower of Jesus Christ, it really isn’t about “my rights”. It’s about, “What is going to fit into God’s plan for my life and the lives of the people around me?” That kind of thinking has a powerfully transforming affect on a person’s life.


Dear Lord, teach us the value of patience and give us a calm and gentle spirit to remain patient, even when you are testing us. Remind us that when you make us wait, when you teach us patience, it is to bless, strengthen, and refine us as your tools. Help us see that our patience under testing is a powerful witness to those around us who do not know Jesus. Make us strong to do your will.