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I've Got Rights

So Abram said to Lot, "Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren. Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left."

Everyone seems concerned about their rights. Whatever the issue, someone is sure to claim that he or she has the right to engage in it. Someone else will maintain that if this person asserts his rights, it will violate their rights. It's no wonder that one social commentator observed, "The search for the good has yielded to the search for rights."

When it came time to separate from his nephew, Abraham certainly could have demanded his rights. As the patriarch in the family, Abraham had the right of first choice about where he wanted to go, but he graciously allowed his younger relative to choose instead. When Lot selfishly chose the lush, fertile valleys, Abraham could have legitimately protested that this flagrant unfairness was a violation of his rights. Instead, he simply packed up his belongings and moved to the more barren hill country.

Obviously, Abraham was more interested in preserving his relationship with Lot than he was in exercising his rights.

God does not assure His children that we will always have our rights recognized. The apostle Paul urges us, "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself" (Phil. 2:3). In other words, let the rights of others be first in your mind, and God will take care of the rest.

If your "rights" have been trampled upon, turn them over to the Lord. A loving relationship with the important people in your life will ultimately be more satisfying than protecting your rights.

Be more concerned about doing right than having rights.

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