Standing up for the rights of others and your own
by Michael Hume 5/07/2012 / Christian Living
There is a time to stand up for the rights of others, and your own. The Bible says, "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, and a foot for a foot." Exodus 21.24 We are not always meant to be passive and forgiving. At times action is best.
I'll give you an example. A friend of mine was kept waiting 1 hour at a doctor's surgery, and it made me angry. Recently at a dentist's the same thing happened again, This time I spoke out, saying it was not on, and they should not treat us that way. We were just about to go and claim our money back when they apologised. She completed her dental treatment, with me in the room, and decided never to return.
I believe if you start standing up for your rights, people will respect you more, and realise they cannot take advantage of you. Once you start, you continue and God helps you from then on.
No need to worry about what to say when these things happen, since the Holy Spirit will tell you at that time. Jesus talked about times like this, "On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you." Matthew 10.18-20
Jesus was very bold and up front. He was not scared to challenge the authorities when they were in the wrong. Neither should we be. There are ways to be firm, and polite and show that you are no pushover. You can always write letters to the highest authority in organisations with your views, you can sign e-petitions and you can create e-petitions. There are many ways you can be a human rights activist. You can take matters to newspapers and ask them to investigate bullying and injustices near you.
In a tabloid paper recently the front page made fun of a new football manager because of the way he pronounced his r's like w's. Really childish and belittling with the aim to get other readers to make sport of him too. People wrote in objecting, and the paper replied, "We were only joking." The Bible describes this kind of thing, "Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrow is a man who deceives his neighbour and says, "I was only joking." Proverbs 26.18. Their motive was to harm but when they were found out they threw in the back out clause, "Only joking."
Michael Hume. Christian since 1987, and in a daily personal relationship with Jesus. A freelance writer. abelongs to author.