Perceived Rights

by Guest blogger on March 16, 2010 · 13 comments

Don’t we all have them? Or at least we think we do. We perceive to have the right

– to our parking space
– to have exactly what we ordered in a restaurant–no mistakes
– to be respected in the workplace (based on our age, experience, etc.)
– to be acknowledged for our hard work
– to not have our plans changed
– to not be inconvenienced
– to be thanked for our services/ministry in the home and elsewhere
– the right to an easy life, within reason of course.

The reality is that’s all wrong. None of these are our rights. They are “perceived” rights. They are rarely, if ever, based on object truth. They’re our perception. What we want, feel, desire.

perceive – v. become aware of through the senses; regard as

rights – n. an entitlement to have or do something

When we compare this attitude of “rights” against the attitude of Christ we notice something glaringly different. Christ, the very God himself, asserted no rights except to do the will of his Father. What would my life look like is I asserted no rights and only followed the Father?

He did not protest death. He did not display His power or authority. He did not make demands or promises of revenge. He simply went to die giving up every right he had. How would it go if I clothed myself in humility instead of asserting myself in conversation? What would it look like if I didn’t try to extract promises?

He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Philippians 2:8

How would my life change if lived so entrenched in humility that I went willingly to die every day?

In light of the cross, our perceived rights are small, fruitless, and self-exalting. Let us strive to give up these “rights,” surrendering our attitudes and will to Christ, hoping

“As our grasp on our perceived rights weakens, our needs fade into the background, and we become little images of Christ–consumed with the needs of others to the forgetfulness of our own.”

Wendy Horger Alsup, Practical Theology for Women

Oh, how I want to be like Jesus! How I can pray every day for a heart like his…to be molded and sanctified and yet turn around so quickly and demand that I be heard, obeyed, satisfied. If I truly want to be like Jesus I must willingly “suffer the loss of all things” (Php 3:8) and daily take up my cross (Mk 8:34) to follow him to death…death to self.

(photo info: http://www.flickr.com/photos/karola/3624586764/)

Jessica is wife to the dreamiest man in the world and mom to one adorable (and busy) little boy, both named Joe. She is a recovering perfectionist and people-pleaser blogging at Reflections of a Princess about being authentic, passionate, and purposeful.

{ 13 comments }

Heather

My life is a mess if I don’t stop to pray and LISTEN before I do ANYTHING!
Thought y’all might like something I read today for Lent and Easter wisdom from G K Chesterton

“People who lose all their charity generally lose all their logic”
– Father Brown in, the Father Brown Omnibus.

Chart the rise and fall of yoru charite today. Make a mental note of the times when you feel the least charitable toward another. Did your loss of charity coincide with an equal loss of logic? Where you being in some way unreasonable when you ran out of charity?

Interesting huh!

aplaceforthoughts

Hi Jessica! I like your post! I find it to be perfect for this Lenten season that we are in! Thank you for making me stop and think this morning.

Jessica

Thanks!

Heather

My life is a mess if I don’t stop to pray and LISTEN before I do ANYTHING!
Thought y’all might like something I read today for Lent and Easter wisdom from G K Chesterton

“People who lose all their charity generally lose all their logic”
– Father Brown in, the Father Brown Omnibus.

Chart the rise and fall of your charity today. Make a mental note of the times when you feel the least charitable toward another. Did your loss of charity coincide with an equal loss of logic? Where you being in some way unreasonable when you ran out of charity?

Interesting huh!

Shell

This is all so true, and I need to be reminded of it. Thanks for such a thoughtful post this morning!

JamieAnne

I agree with Shell, this is something most of us know….but tend to forget. I know I forget when my coffee from Starbucks is not “just right”. Thanks for the great reminder. I enjoyed reading some of your posts on your site. The one about how you and your husband met was very sweet.

Jessica

Shell – I tend to forget it too…more often than I’d like, especially when I have a to do list that gets interrupted by a short nap time. :) It’s a constant struggle to see who’s will is going to win.

Jessica

I meant to say to Shell & JamieAnn…sorry about that. :)

Michelle

Thank you for holding up the mirror for us to look in, me especially.

Alicia The Snowflake

Amen! May we put our perceived rights aside and really focus on Christ. If we will put Him first then everything else in our life will fall into it’s proper place. We begin to realize that what seemed necessary before is only fleeting. Thanks for this great post today!

Jessica

It’s really true, isn’t it? Next to Christ so many of our wants and “necessities” fall away. It’s kind of crazy when you think about it…

Mia Rossi

This really makes me think. Like you, I’m a recovering perfectionist/people-pleaser. These tendencies do not lend well to being led by the H.S. This week is spring break for us. I’ve purposed to let God make our schedule. I hate to admit this, but I usually just limit Him to my quiet time in the morning. As soon as our time is over, I move on with my day. Don’t get me wrong, I pray throughout the day, but I live by my calendar and often don ‘t ask Him what to put on it. This week I’ve let Him run the show & it’s been the best week ever!! I’ve met 4 new friends, made progress on my journey to organic eating and turned on the pool heater so my kids could have friends over to swim!! I hope I will live next week with out a “perceived right” to make my own schedule.
~Mia

SomeGirl

Wow! What a powerful post! And a great reminder that our attitude needs to be like that of Christ, who being fully God, humbled himself to death for us. Thank you so much, Jessica! You did a GREAT job!!!

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