A highway sign tells me to merge because my lane is ending. Within a short time, I do.
Then, close to where the lane ends, several drivers who were behind me before I merged remain in the lane that’s about to end. I see their blinkers, but I refuse to let them in. I merged on time; therefore, I have the right to ignore them (and in a way, punish them) for waiting to merge until the last minute. They should have merged sooner – behind me. I justify my selfish attitude by believing I’m a more righteous driver than they are.
Can you relate?
As we continue studying, bit-by-bit, the love chapter in 1 Corinthians 13, let’s practice this week’s challenge: “[Love] does not insist on its own way” (1 Corinthians 13:5b ESV). The Amplified Bible, Classic Edition adds “does not insist on its own rights.”
This week, I’m going to ask God to help me yield my agenda and rights to His purposes. Our best model, of course, is Jesus. He never exerted His rights while living on earth, even though He had every right to do so. His death at Calvary is the best example of this.
When we put the needs of others ahead of our own, we demonstrate God’s love in us. Why, then, are we so quick to catch people not respecting our ways and our rights? Instead, shouldn’t we be quick to catch ourselves when we don’t respect the rights of those around us – including their beliefs and needs?
For instance, how many times do I allow people to express their opinion, even when I disagree? At work, how often do I help a coworker succeed or pray for a competitor to prosper?
And how would it change our relationships if we simply practiced good manners by saying, “Please,” “Thank you,” and “I’m sorry”? Or if we saved the last piece of pie for someone else? How would it change our mood on a crowded interstate if we allowed someone to merge late – and smiled while doing it? We just might be extending grace to a driver who learned his wife has cancer or to a stressed single mom who simply missed seeing the earlier merger sign.
What would it cost us to give up our rights just once this week? How much would we gain?
Sheryl H. Boldt is the author of the blog, www.TodayCanBeDifferent.net. You can reach her at SherylHBoldt@gmail.com.