Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Rights Vs. Responsibility

Paul the Apostle wrote, "We were not idle when we were
with you, nor did we eat anyone's food without paying
for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day,
laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden
to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have
the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves
a model for you to follow. For even when we were with
you, we gave you this rule: 'If a man will not work,
he shall not eat.'"1

Recently, when watching an interview on TV, I found it
sickening to see the following reasoning: An individual
who was being interviewed--who happened to be an
illegal immigrant--was asked why she was here, and why
she didn't want to work. Her answer was that she had a
right to be here, and a right to be taken care of, her
"justification" being that because God had blessed the
U.S.A., it was the will of Jesus that she live here
and be taken care of (2). In her thinking it was owing to
her. She was obviously a member of the "entitlement
society" as she was an able-bodied woman and quite
capable of working, and quite capable of applying for
a permit to be in the country legally.

Certainly I believe that people who are genuinely
unable to take care of themselves because of a serious
disability, need to be cared for. But to take care of
people who are capable of working and taking care of
themselves, is a case of irresponsible codependency.
Whether this is at an individual or a national level
makes no difference, it is a gross form of
irresponsibility both on the part of the care-giver
and the care-receiver. The one is as sick as the
other. To take care of people who can take care of
themselves reinforces their irresponsibility and keeps
them sickeningly over-dependent and immature.

By way of interest, God will bend the heavens to do
for us what we cannot do for ourselves-that's why he
sent Jesus, his Son, to die in our place on the cross
to save us from the lethal consequences of our
sins--but he will not do for us what we are able to do
for ourselves. 

Yes, people have right "rights" but not wrong "rights"
in that they do not have the right to be irresponsible
and live off other peoples' hard work and efforts when
they are capable of taking care of themselves. As
today's Scripture says, "'If a man will not work, he
shall not eat." It is tragic that too many leaders
don't get it, as it appears that they are more
interested in getting votes than they are in the
lasting welfare of both individuals and society at

1. 2 Thessalonians 3:7-10 (NIV)
(2) then does that mean that people suffering in the Sudan, Ethiopia or 
any other country is LESS 'blessed' or 'entitled' to God's providence????

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