My brother had been driving less than a year when my father allowed him to use the car one evening. I think he was going to a high school football game (the details are fuzzy as it was quite a while ago!) and he was going to drive some friends home afterward. While trying to adjust the radio dial (like I said, quite a while ago….), he forgot about the road. And drove straight into a ditch. Thankfully, no one was hurt.
The damage to the car was much less than it could have been. But the extent of the
consequences does not diminish the lesson.
My brother had been given a privilege – but he forgot the responsibility. Privilege always comes with responsibility.
Privilege – a special right or favor given. Privilege can come on a large scale… how we identify ourselves. It may come from a smaller group….maybe in your workplace or your ministry. Privilege is also very personal – specific to each of us individually. As a Christian, we are blessed beyond measured and enjoy special favor from a Heavenly Father that loves us more than we can comprehend. No matter the type of privilege or “special favor” we enjoy, each one comes with responsibility.
For instance, I feel privileged to be an American….and I have the responsibility to be a good citizen. I am also privileged to serve in the women’s ministry at my church…and I have responsibilities associated with it. There are responsibilities because I am privileged to be a wife, a mother, a friend, etc. How easy it is to confuse our privileges with our rights. Just as a naive teenage driver assumes he has a right to drive simply because he has a license, it is immature for any of us to assume our blessings are rights.
Two quick thoughts for maintaining perspective:
1 – Focus on the responsibility….not the privilege. If we are diligent to serve wherever we can – and whomever we can – our privileges become a gift, and not a right. The joy is also found in the responsibility and not simply the privilege. Privileges can always come to an end. (I’m pretty sure my brother found that out soon after my father’s car was pulled from the ditch.) Finding the joy in the responsibility helps us not to take blessings for granted.
2 – Gratitude. Purposefully taking note of and then giving thanks for our blessings is one of the easiest ways to prevent them from becoming our rights. The shift in our mental focus might be slight but deliberately voicing (and showing) appreciation for the privileges that are ours really does make all the difference.
Like you, I am so very privileged and blessed more than I could ever deserve. I just want to thank the Lord, publicly here on my blog, for all His richness to me. We have an enemy that wants to rob the joy and wants to derail us mentally, emotionally and any other way he can. But with gratitude and the proper focus, we will not simply enjoy….but abundantly enjoy all He has given and done for us!!