Servants Have No Rights
We live in a day when everyone insists on his or her
personal rights. The courts of law are full of people who feel their “rights”
have been infringed upon grievously. It is the theme in every lawyer’s office.
“You have your rights,” the highway billboard shouts to passing passengers.
While pastoring in the U. S., I received phone calls from
lawyers quite often saying they were “Christian lawyers” looking out for the
“rights” of pastors and if I ever needed good legal counsel they were readily
That is the sad state of affairs in the world in which we
However, Jesus said servants have no rights. Read carefully
His words to would be followers:
“Whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other
also” (Matthew 5:39).
“And if anyone wants to sue you, and take your shirt, let him have
your coat also” (v. 40).
“And whoever shall force you to go one mile, go with him two” (v.
“Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who
wants to borrow from you” (v. 42).
Have you ever seen
those posted in a law office?
Christians have no rights to retaliation, “getting even,”
to their own time, money, etc.
How can this be?
We are stewards of
God’s possessions. He owns it all, and we belong to Him.
The apostle Paul reminded members of a church that was
quick to enter into lawsuits, “You were bought with a price” (1 Cor. 6:20;
Even how we use our bodies is to be in accordance with
God’s perfect will (1 Cor. 3:16-17; 6:17-20; 7:23-24; 2 Cor. 6:14-18).
If is a strange cry when we hear women say, “It is my body;
I can do with it as I please.”
It is hard giving up our perceived human rights. We give
them up in order to exercise a greater purpose. The apostle Paul said, "Though I
am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many
as possible” (1 Cor. 9:16). We can sum up his philosophy of freedom in his words
in verse twenty-two. “To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak, I
have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some.” Paul did
not want anything to stand in the way of preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
What are the “rights” of the servant of Christ? When we
give up our perceived self-rights God takes over and operates according to His
“Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for
the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the
Lord. But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a
drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be
overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:19-21).
There is a great relief in knowing that we do not have to
lower ourselves to “tit for tat, hate for hate,” “eye for eye,” and “tooth for
It is easy to become slaves to people and things. “He who
dies with the most toys wins.” Or does he?
A better way is to realize that everything we have comes
from the loving hands of a gracious God. We receive by giving, and we gain by
losing. How can I use what He has entrusted to me in the best possible way to
bring honor and glory to His name?
Speaking of the Father’s kingdom Jesus said, “But seek
first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to
you” (Matthew 6:33). In the context Jesus is speaking of all those
things people fight over.
Jesus set the example for every servant. He “committed no
sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not
revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting
Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body
on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His
wounds you were healed” (1 Peter 2:22-24).
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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