The news is buzzing about rights. Religious right. Speech rights. Expanded marriage rights. Human rights. Pre-born rights. All of us have an innate understanding of what it means to have our rights ignored, squandered, or taken away.
Did you know God has rights? Here are only a few:
- The right to give eternal life (John 17:2)
- The right to judge (John 5:27)
- The right to everything created (Deut. 10:14)
- The right, as head of the church, to gift how he wills (1 Cor 11:3; 12:28)
God gives us the freedom to act but we should consider at least four things:
- Am I honoring the Lord?
- Am I properly representing the Lord?
- Am I giving the Lord his due glory?
- Am I respecting God’s rights? (Said another way: am I taking any of God’s rights away from him?)
Notice that I didn’t include “am I sinning?”. It’s easy to look for “thou shalt” and “thou shalt not” but it’s much harder to stop and consider if what we’re doing (1) honors him, (2) represents him properly, (3) glorifies him, (4) respects his rights to judge, rule, gift, and own.
Here’s an easy example with money. God owns all money and shares it with us granting the freedom to use it. When have you last used it to honor, represent, and glorify Him? Now, when have you stopped and said “wait, this isn’t mine, this is God’s!” and given it back to Him?
That’s just with money. What about our lips? Our hands? Our day-to-day? How are you respecting the Lord’s rights today?