Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"I know my rights!"

I’m sure you may have heard that phrase more than once. Each time I hear it, I’m tempted to respond with a simple question: “Do you know your responsibilities?”

Irrespective of whatever you may have heard or want to believe, rights are not FOC (i.e. free of charge). To truly enjoy your rights you must know, accept and fulfill the related responsibilities. Too many people focus only on their rights and totally ignore their rights. The UK riots in August are a good example. People were saying that the government failed the young people – that they had rights to better lives. What about the young people’s responsibilities and not to mention their parents’ responsibilities to raise their children properly - that’s every child’s right. Why would they ever think that destroying things is a right? Doing the wrong thing is never right nor is it a right - period.

Let’s turn to other aspects of living in any country. Irrespective of whatever your rights are, we all have various responsibilities. Fulfilled responsibilities are the currency used to pay for our rights. For instance, paying your taxes provide the government with money to fulfill their own responsibility to deliver your rights to you. Similarly, paying your tithe to God bestows the right to open heavens – see Malachi 3:10-12 (italics mine):
"I am the LORD All-Powerful, and I challenge you to put me to the test. Bring the entire ten percent into the storehouse, so there will be food in my house. Then I will open the windows of heaven and flood you with blessing after blessing. I will also stop locusts from destroying your crops and keeping your vineyards from producing. Everyone of every nation will talk about how I have blessed you and about your wonderful land. I, the LORD All-Powerful, have spoken!" (CEV) 
Now this is one "right" I intend to fulfill my responsibilty for - by bringing the enitre tenth of my income. When people start the talk about should it be based on gross or net pay - my answer is simple: "it depends - on if you want gross or net blessings." Note that this is not the only promise we have a right to. If you look closely at each of the other promises - and they are very many - you’ll see your responsibilities. So every time you say or even think: “I know my rights” ask yourself: “What are my responsibilities and am I fulfilling them?” Fulfilled responsibilities are one key step to "earning" your rights...so start there.

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