But I'm Entitled to It!

“If some people got all their rights, they would begin to complain about being deprived of their wrongs.” –Oliver Herford
Last week a 20-year-old man broke into 85-year-old Grace Newton’s home in southern California. He hit her over the head with a baseball bat, then began to ransack her apartment. She regained consciousness before he had finished, found a gun in her sewing drawer, and shot him in the shoulder.
He is suing her for damages.
We live in a day of entitlements. We expect certain things from government, our employers, and our church. If any of these groups fails to meet their obligations, we demand our “rights.” Let me be clear. It’s wonderful to live in a land where we enjoy so many freedoms – freedom of expression, freedom of association, and especially freedom of religion. These are precious rights.
But it seems that some people want to have their wrongs, too. When my right infringes on the well being of others, isn’t that wrong? When children suffer from our indulgences “second hand,” is that our “right” or “wrong”? When an unborn human being is done away with because its existence would be a crimp on our lifestyles, is that our “right” or our “wrong”? Church members will often blame their dropping out of church on the church – the elders, or the preacher did (or didn’t) do this or that. When we adopt a “two rights make a wrong” type reasoning for our failure to serve God faithfully. Is that our “right” or our “wrong”? When Gospel preachers fail to proclaim God’s demand for change, or his desire for doctrinal integrity in a mistaken notion that this is “loving,” is that his “right” or his “wrong”?
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who put darkness for light and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20)
It’s the Lord’s intention, one day, to right all the wrongs. He will be less concerned with our rights than with what is right. Are we ready for that day?


It’s the Lord’s intention, one day, to right all the wrongs. He will be less concerned with our rights than with what is right.

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Stan Mitchell

Stan has preached since 1976, in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He serves as preacher for the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He is currently Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He is married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He is the author of four books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs, Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song, and Equipping the Saints for Ministry. He has recently published another book, "Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation.

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