Americans love to talk about our rights. It appears that some Americans have become consumed with their right to be offended.
As a believer and follower of Christ, it is important that I don’t fall prey to the paralysis of offense. I need to be reminded that Christians don’t have rights, but we do have responsibilities.
Over the past few days I watched as a swarm of Christians took to social media to express their outrage and offense over Starbucks’ cups not expressing the true meaning of Christmas.
It didn’t take long for the next wave of Christians to express their own offense at the first group’s shallowness. Funny how we can become offended at other people’s offense.
The circus will continue throughout the holidays. Some will boycott, many will complain, and – my favorite – a few will write “an open letter to Starbucks and Christian Coffee Lovers,” which will certainly settle the entire issue. (*Apparently somebody had an extra shot of sarcasm in their cup today.)
Meanwhile, lost people are watching the feeding frenzy as Christians cannibalize themselves, in the name of Jesus.
Of course, the sad part is that, although most believers are genuinely concerned about the greater issues of seeking and saving the lost, this religious pettiness is, for some, their first and lasting impression of the church.
Paul admonished believers to lay down our rights and take up our responsibilities.
“But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.”
1 Corinthians 8:9 ESV
When I focus on my rights I am looking out for myself. When I focus on my responsibilities I am able to bless others.
I wonder what effect I could have on the world if, instead of demanding my rights, I just carried my responsibilities?