“Rights” vs. “Right”

megaphone 2Pope Francis recently encouraged us to exercise our fundamental human right to free speech in ways that don’t intentionally offend other faiths.

For Americans, this suggestion challenges our closely-held belief that personal rights, enumerated in the Constitution (not the Bible), trump everything. People fought and died to defend those rights, and we’ll not surrender them to anyone under any circumstances.

Certainly we have the right to make even offensive statements, and I’d never want government to restrict those rights.

Francis, however, appeals to a higher authority.

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. (1 Corinthians 10:23-24)

Simply possessing the right to do something doesn’t make it the right thing to do.
Jesus had every right to walk away from the cross and leave me to face the consequences of my sin. I’m grateful for His choice to forgo His rights in favor of love, sacrifice, and grace.

Perhaps He meant for us to follow His model.

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Copyright by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

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