5 February 2021

One of the more pernicious traps that exists is to believe that you have a right to something. Today, I saw a man who is an immigrant go off because his benefits had been unilaterally stopped by the employer — for the survival of all, I might add. His contract includes them, and it is likely that he will get them. Many in the team will not: different credentials, different contract. But he was demanding his rights. Similar organizations are letting people go. The country is doing OK, but this industry relies on foreigners, and it is not.

Sometimes you have to choose not to take up your rights. Last year I could have subverted my boss and gone for promotion. I did not. It is more important for the organization that the boss has the support of the team than I get that ego boost.

Sometimes, in fact, often, the best thing you can do with your rights and power is not demand them. Even though it is unjust and unfair. We are adults. We know life is unfair. There is a greater mission, and that is to glorify God.

1 Corinthians 9:1-16

9 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord? 2 If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you, for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

3 This is my defence to those who would examine me. 4 Do we not have the right to eat and drink? 5 Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? 6 Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? 7 Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk?

8 Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? 10 Does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the ploughman should plough in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. 11 If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more?

Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ. 13 Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? 14 In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.

15 But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of my ground for boasting. 16 For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!

We have to deal with the world as it is. When we can, we should profit materially, but it is far more important to profit spiritually. At times there will be a spiritual attack which is “you could do this and get away with it” or “go on, you have earned it”. Those urges are generally to do something that will in the long term hurt you or others.

I don’t trust my own thoughts anymore, especially when they try to thrust me into the pleasures and degradations of this world. When such a thought enters my brain, I hold it up to God’s standards. Does it go against what Lord Jesus or the Apostolic Church taught? Does it conflict with the Church Fathers? Is it bothering my conscious in a way that I can only feel but not explain? Then it’s probably something sent into me from the spirit of darkness. I will ignore it, carry on, and remain diligent until their power over my mind comes to an end with the conclusion of this earthly life.

Here prayer and meditation on the word matters. Reading good stuff helps. Being busy with purposeful activities. When you stop, you can be attacked.

But don’t read the propaganda of the enemy. They talk too much of rights. They claim to speak for Christ, but he gave up more than Paul. And, when I go to their sites, they always limit the number of articles you have, or have begging popups for their Patreon(TM) or some other woke method of supporting them.

Woe be it to me if I ask for that.

I’d rather let the gospel be proclaimed.