The phrase, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should” can be applied to so many areas of life. Just because I can eat ice cream for breakfast, doesn’t mean I should. Just because I can stay up all night watching Netflix, doesn’t mean I should. Just because I can buy that shiny new thing, doesn’t mean I should. We might have the right to do something, but that doesn’t make it right.
If you have attended a Southern Hills service, you have probably heard someone mention Galatians 2:20:
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
As a Christ follower, we are called to crucify ourselves and our desires for the sake of the Gospel. We ought to give up our rights and demonstrate it’s no longer about us and what makes us happy, but it’s about honoring God with our lives. Is there an area in your life where you need to lay down what you believe are your rights for the sake of Christ?
RIGHT TO HAVE MORE. You worked hard, you saved up, and you might have the right to upgrade your TV, but that doesn’t mean you should. The writer of Hebrews challenged us saying, “Don’t be controlled by love for money. Be happy with what you have” (Hebrews 13:5). When spending money, it’s important to check your motive. Are you honoring God with your spending? Do you need to lay down your rights for the sake of something greater?
RIGHT TO BE RIGHT. You know where you stand on the issue, and even have the facts to back it up. You might have the right to try and win the fight or make that post on Facebook, but that doesn’t mean you should.
Don’t do anything only to get ahead. Don’t do it because you are proud. Instead, be humble. Value others more than yourselves. None of you should look out just for your own good. Each of you should also look out for the good of others. – Philippians 2:3-4
There are times where correction or a loving rebuke is necessary but is your heart doing what is best for the other person or are you holding onto your rights? Is it for their good or so you can feel good? Remember Colossians 3:13: “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
RIGHT TO BE COMFORTABLE. You had a long day and just want to come home to a peaceful house. You might have the right to do what makes you happy, but that doesn’t mean you should. Loving your family often means laying down your right to comfort and showing love through your actions.
We know what love is because Jesus Christ gave his life for us. So we should give our lives for our brothers and sisters. Suppose someone sees a brother or sister in need and is able to help them. And suppose that person doesn’t take pity on these needy people. Then how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, don’t just talk about love. Put your love into action. Then it will truly be love. – 1 John 3:16-18
If my old self has been crucified with Christ, then I’m a dead man walking and dead men have no rights. What rights do you need to crucify for the sake of Christ? The old hymn says:
I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small.
Child of weakness, watch and pray.
Find in Me thine all in all.”
Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe;
sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.