by Jennie Allen
A few weeks ago I sat down across from a good friend. We’ve done life and ministry together for years. She came over to share some things she recently heard someone else say about me, fearing they might be true. They were selfish, ugly things, and upon hearing them the room started spinning and my stomach turned over. It was one of those moments when you want to fight someone, or retreat and cry all night in a pillow.
Nothing she said was close to true. I felt misrepresented, misunderstood and judged. I was as mad as I was hurt.
Anger is my reaction when my rights are being taken from me. We get angry about what we think we deserve. I think most of my life I have held on to a right to be understood. These are often the times I get most mad at my husband or those around me. I think I deserve to be understood and represented fairly.
As followers of Christ, what are our rights?
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 (NKJV)
God is calling us to a surrender that is so resolute, so final that to lift our head in defense or anger would seem insane – ridiculous even. I am a bond servant of God Almighty. He is my defender. I answer to Him. Whatever wave of attack or injustice – from long grocery lines to slander – God’s call is to let it wash over me without a fight.
To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also. Luke 6:29 (NKJV)
Why would anyone live this way?
There is this mercy that runs out of God, and with it an expectation that mercy births more mercy… love births more love.
When I read the Scriptures I hear God saying to me, “You that know Me, you give up your lives as I did. I’ll help you and fill you. I will show you when and where to lay down your rights. But let’s start with your life, your expectations, your money, your family’s approval, your right to a family, your right to move quickly, your right to be successful, your right, Jennie, to be understood. Let’s start with these. Die to them.”
Turn the other cheek and die to your rights. What if God says these powerful words because He knows that turning cheeks could transform this planet? He knows that this selfish race of people would watch a ridiculous and radical abandonment of rights and insane love, and perhaps they would see God?
What if I am missing the mission of my life because I want to hold on to a few selfish rights and visions for my life? What if freedom is letting go of the very things I think I must have to be free?
What rights are you fighting for?
Jennie Allen is a Bible teacher who is passionate about inspiring a new generation of women to encounter the invisible God. Raised in a Christian home, Jennie heard about God her entire life but not until high school did she see her need for Him. Since that time she has been teaching groups of girls and young women about her God. Her first Bible study, Stuck: The Places We Get Stuck and the God Who Sets Us Free, will release in October 2011. To sample Stuck, visit www.StuckDVDStudy.com.
For more info on Jennie, visit www.jennieallen.com.