Fresh Hope – 16th August 2019

We live in times where we hear so much about human rights but very little on human responsibilities! Society is desperately trying to make life as fair as possible by levelling every playing field whether based on gender or race, the problem though is it places emphasis on what people are entitled to rather than what their obligations should be to each other.

You could argue the very purpose of life is to take responsibility for what you can.

The bible doesn’t talk about our rights, in fact it makes it clear ‘all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God’ and that the wages of that sin is death! So the only right we have is to be punished! But the gift of God is eternal life. So we’re treated much better than we deserve and get called the children of God! If you believe this, you really can’t complain at the hand life has dealt you.

When Jesus said ‘love your enemies’ it wasn’t for the sake of your enemies, but for your sake. When Jesus said ‘turn the other cheek’, again, it wasn’t for the sake of the aggressor but the person being slapped!

Essentially, Jesus was teaching us not to be a victim, where bad things ‘happen to us’, but instead take responsibility in the circumstances and so choose to be a victor and remain in the grace of God that wiped our slates clean.

So when bad things happen, learn to turn the other cheek, don’t blame, or fight back but look to take advantage of the difficulty! Instead of joining in the ‘tit for tat’ rules of life, look for the unexpected gift that could come from the difficulty (love the enemy) rather than complaining and becoming a victim! Take responsibility for the events by looking to see why the slap came your way. Did you do something? Is this person struggling and needs help rather than being slapped back?

We live in crazy times, people don’t know who they are and have no understanding of a bigger plan for their lives other than what’s in front of them. If you’re a follower of Jesus and so believe by faith he gave his life as a ransom so you could live in wide open spaces of forgiveness, it means you are freed from playing by the same rules as the world. You’re a child of the living God and a co-heir with Christ to inherit everything. We have a duty to protect that reality, to take responsibility for your life and live in freedom.

Be encouraged today, stand up straight and push your shoulders back, be brave and take responsibility. Be the best you for your sake, your family’s and the wider community.

Luke Cartwright

A daily devotion for a better way of living.