Elisabeth Elliot wrote:
Christianity teaches righteousness not rights. It emphasizes honor, not equality.Elisabeth Elliot Discipline
In a world of expectations and rights, Jesus offers neither—He gives us neither what we expect or what we deserve.
We deserve death, but Peter shared with us in his letter what we receive in Christ:
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”1 Peter 2:24 NIV
In my sinful state, I have no reason to believe someone should love me enough to save me. I expect to get what I deserve. When the world shouts, “It’s my right!” my heart calls “foul!” This world doesn’t owe me anything. What have I ever done for it?
Only when I am covered by his righteousness can I lay down my supposed rights for another. In Christ, I learn to accept all persons as created uniquely by God and precious in his sight. It’s in looking at the beauty of the differences, I can give them honor and not force them to be like me.
We are all healed in Christ, and because of his atonement, I can love others because of their scars, for I have my own. Christianity differs so much from the reality of the world. We just have to look at what they claim. Talk is one thing, but actions prove quite another. Tolerance and equality quickly become intolerance and power struggles.
As we live for righteousness, let’s be on the lookout for those who are feeling the sting of rejection from those who claim their rights and equality. Jesus wants us to meet them in their struggles and lead them to his mercy and grace.
Grace and Peace