Hot buttons!

Our second nature came equipped with hot buttons. We all have them. When these buttons are pressed, an eruption of indignation lets loose. It’s an explosion of renegade neurons firing wildly in our heads. All of our buttons are linked to our self-serving or self-protective tendencies in one way or another. They remind us of the ways we’re conformed to the world.

One of these standard equipment buttons is the button of our rights. We have the right to be happy. We have the right to be loved and respected. We have the right to a short line at the grocery store. We have the right to an unobstructed traffic lane. We have the right to spout our indignant opinion. And we have the right to be wrong, without having to admit we’re wrong. We even have the right to protect our rights. When this hair-trigger button is pressed and our rights are “violated,” we can go from zero to livid—from sane to insane—in a neurological flash.

As Christ followers, our rights become secondary to what is right from God’s perspective. In fact, we need seriously to question whether or not we still have any rights at all. Based on God’s Word, “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal. 2:20). So, in essence, I’m a dead man. What rights does a dead man have?

When I look at situations from God’s vantage point, I learn that my most godly right is the right to waive my rights. Or possibly that should read the right to waive my phantom rights. The default mode of my second nature is to stake my claim, defend my ground, and set the world straight, but when I am in the flow of God’s way, these things no longer make sense.

Satan wants to bind us up in our phantom rights—the rights we no longer have. He smirks at the things we cling to, like our grudge-encased right to judge, for instance. Or even our right to be hurt, or offended. We are tempted to react according to the gospel of our own selfish ambitions. After all, it’s our second nature.

Every day, all day long, we are confronted with decision points…will I do what I feel like doing, or will I submit my way to the guidance of God’s Spirit at work within me? These opportunities are forks in our path, and we will choose to go one way or the other.

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