Privilege Equals Responsibility
Privilege equals responsibility, or at least it ought to. Sometimes in society people get away with having privilege without responsibility, but that’s not a principle found in Scripture. 1 Corinthians 3:8 tells us that each will receive wages according to their labor and Galatians 6:5 tells us that each must bear his own load. We are responsible for and have a part to play in living out our own prosperity, privilege, and blessing.
Too often, people want the benefits of God without the responsibility that comes with being a child of God. It’s like a child in a household who resists the chores and the rules of the house. I have three children and I know first hand what this looks like. We look at our home as a place where all who live there have a part to play in maintaining good order and being good stewards of what the Lord has blessed us with. For each member of our household, there are responsibilities that must be upheld. A couple of my children have been known to resist these responsibilities. They want the benefits of living in the household without the responsibilities that come along with it. They don’t want to clean their rooms but always want more toys to put in there. They don’t want to help with the laundry but sure enjoy having fresh towels and clean clothes to wear. They don’t want to help with the dishes, but never complain when they have food to eat.
If you’re a parent you know this to be true, at least at times. It’s the same way in the body of Christ. Christians want the benefits of being a child of God, but don’t want the responsibilities that come along with this privilege. Christians want prosperity but won’t be faithful to tithe and give. (Malachi 3:8-10) Christians want to be used in great ways for the Lord but won’t be faithful to serve in the small things behind the scenes. (Luke 16:10) Christians want their marriages restored, peace in their minds, and health in their bodies but won’t be faithful to show up to church. (Hebrews 10:25) Do you see the problem in this?
If we are not careful to be responsible with the Word of God, as children of God, we can’t demand the benefits of our inheritance. If we aren’t doers of the Word, we can’t live the way God intended us to live. Romans 12:1 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” We must choose to live responsibly and to present our lives to the Lord in such a way that is well pleasing to Him. After all, that’s our reasonable service. When Christ died for us and we accepted that salvation, we also agreed to put sin in our lives to death. We agreed to live in a different way, not to be our same old self. When Christ died for us and we accepted that salvation, our lives became no longer our own. Our lives aren’t only for our convenience, our personal goals, or our own entertainment.
Don’t be discouraged if you’re new to the faith thinking you haven’t figured it all out yet and you haven’t been living like I’ve described. Look at Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Our hearts should be to grow more and more into the character of Jesus. Our hearts should be to do our best to live by the truth and direction found in the Bible. Our heart should be to please the Father and to live in such a way that shows Him how thankful we are that He purchased our salvation with the blood of His perfect and only son, Jesus. The more time we spend in His Word, the more time we spend with Him, the more closely our lives will resemble this.
Philippians 3:12-14 says, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” It isn’t about whether you’ve already arrived. It’s about whether or not you’re pressing towards the higher calling. Let’s press on brothers and sisters. Let’s strive towards a life of honor, of moral excellence, and of resembling Jesus.
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