Even as adults, we don’t like admitting when we’re mistaken, unwise, or have been caught in some misdeed. Too often, when we’re caught red-handed, our response is anger. I suppose it’s part of the old “fight or flight” reaction that we were taught about in school. Often times we cling to flimsy excuses that are barely related to the subject, or have no proof or logic to them. Sometimes, if no other option seems to be excusing our actions adequately, we use the old cliché, “It’s my right to do as I please!” That phrase is often tied to “You don’t have any right to tell me what to do!”
Of course both of those statements can be true. If doing as you please breaks no law, then we could say that we have the “right” to do whatever we want. And, if the person being answered back isn’t in a position of authority over the first person, and the first person’s actions are such that they will have no affect on anyone else, the second person doesn’t have any right to be trying to bully others to do his bidding.
What, though, if the first person’s actions can affect vast numbers of others to their detriment? What if their actions will negatively affect future generations? What if the thing they were being “told to do” was in reality, just a statement of fact that the first person doesn’t want to accept? Then, we are faced with the sometimes unpopular fact that our freedom comes with a responsibility to others. As Americans, we are supposed to protect the rights of the individual while still considering the common good. It can be a difficult proposition, but it’s not an impossible one.
The “it’s my right” argument meets further difficulties when the adherent professes to be a Christian, for then he’s supposed to consider God’s opinions ahead of his own. We are taught that God doesn’t appreciate it when we put our opinions ahead of His. Mind you, I’m not talking about what some other Christian says, but about the about the words given by God in the Holy Bible. “It’s my right” might float a lot of people’s boats in a strictly legal sense, not so much in a moral sense. God will be the ultimate judge.
We should all be thankful that true followers of Jesus are forgiven. Otherwise, we’d ALL be in a heap of trouble. © 2012