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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Getting even

There was a horrible headline that caught my attention this morning. A 17 year-old young lady from Atlanta was in jail after an incident of road rage where she ran over a 15 year old boy. I don't know all of the details behind the story but it seems the young lady was traveling pretty fast through a neighborhood. As she sped by a group of kids, they all shouted for her to slow down, she was going to fast. Obviously enraged by their suggestion, the young lady got into a shouting match of some kind with neighbors then returned to the scene later and intentionally ran down one of the kids who was a part of the original group. Maybe she somehow felt vindicated for what she did. After all, she had a right to drive as she chose.

While she has to take responsibility for her actions, I can't help but believe that this goes back to some of our discussion from Monday's blog--our rights. We have taught our kids that NO ONE has a right to impede us from doing what our freedoms allow. They can't stop us from talking out, having sex with who we want, being disrespectful, having our money, spending our money how we choose and on and on.

Though I believe the Bible teaches there is a time to stand your ground and to not give in, I also believe the Bible teaches a more important, often forgotten principle--our lives are not ours. When Jesus died on the Cross 2000 years ago, He willingly gave up "His" life because He understood that it was His Father's. No one took it from Him. He gave it.

Here is an interesting irony from Scripture: strength looks more like a Cross than a sword, more like laying down your rights than defending them to the end. Strength looks less like Russell Crowe taking on the world than it does you and I knowing that, most often, forgiveness is the strongest thing we can do.

The next time you or I feel wronged, maybe we would do well to remember Jesus, to remember the Cross. We will find the strength to do as He did and live without regret for allowing our rights to be superseded by God's rights over our lives. If one young lady had remembered this in Atlanta yesterday, she might have a future free of prison and another young man would be free of the ICU. But, hey, she had her rights...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Ridley,

Learning just how hard it really is to give up my so called 'rights' ! I'm in a situation now where I feel like I need to defend myself, but God is calling me to honor this person, to bless him and not curse him, and to sow seeds of grace. So much easier said than done ! But I trust God - that He is my defender and that "those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow (for me, seeds of grace), will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him (Psalm 126.5-6)."

Jolie Waller Bradham