I recently was listening to an author on the radio who was advocating the importance of responsibility in achieving a fulfilled life. He was publicising a book, but for once, this activity made me want to go out and get this book. This theme resonates with me as I am liable to get a bit annoyed when I hear people incessantly go on about rights. Of course, rights are important, but are not the only thing that is important.
Rights are freedoms that are protected in some way – usually within the law of the land. Rights such as freedom of speech, or freedom of religion. Responsibilities are something we should do, but it is up to each one of us to act.
The way I see it, rights impact the individual. Responsibilities impact community and society as a whole. Which is more important? We each have the freedom to decide. Yet if we do not have a community that is supportive and safe, what value is there in rights? It is only by accepting the responsibility to play a part in society that our rights can be exercised.
As Christians, there is a further element in this decision. We are called to be part of the Kingdom of Heaven, here on earth, for as long as we are living this life. The Kingdom is the ultimate society and community. The Bible shows us just what responsibilities we each have if we want to enjoy the right to be called a ‘Child of God’.
I hope and pray that we can each act and build up that Kingdom. In that way, others may see that Jesus IS the way, and come and join us!