Last night, I listened to a lady talk about what it was like to raise her children. She had four kids, all less than two years apart. “This was not an easy task,” she reminded me.
At times, she became so frustrated with her husband, because he wouldn’t help her at all. He wouldn’t even change a diaper. “How did you deal with it?” I asked.
She told me her prayer: “Lord, I need your help. Please give me strength, because I can’t do this on my own. I am so mad at my husband. Please help me.”
During her prayer time, she felt like God was saying to her, “Daughter, give me all your rights–the right to be angry, the right to get mad, the right to scream at your husband. I want all of your rights.”
She explained how difficult it was, but God was asking her to relinquish her rights. I asked her what happened. “God gave me the strength I needed, and I was happy.” She even concluded with this powerful statement, “I would rather have God’s strength and peace than the help of my husband any day.”
This issue with rights is a very sensitive subject, but it can be an open door for crippling anxiety and fear. Some people hold on to rights so tightly, that it can destroy the mind and the soul.
Are you angry with someone? Did they wrong you? Can you forgive them? “Well, I have the right to be angry. They really hurt me.” Jesus says this: “If you do not forgive others their offenses, neither will your Father forgive yours” (Matthew 6:15). You have to relinquish your right to be angry.
Have you been a victim of some traumatic event in your life? These things can be terrible, I know. But if you hold on to your “victim rights” and not accept God’s grace for restoration and healing, then the Bible says a “root of bitterness” will spring up in your life causing trouble and defiling many (Hebrews 12:15).
I’ve learned first hand that the longer you hold onto your rights, the longer your rights will hold on to you, bringing fear and tormenting anxiety.
Just as this lady experienced peace, freedom and God’s strength by relinquishing her rights, so have I found peace and rest in that same giving up of my rights. Once you’ve given up your rights to God, then he will give you the strength to rise above those problems and issues in your life that may be hindering you.
Jesus sums this up with the following words:Â “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it”Â (Luke 9:24).
Prayer:Â Father, I give you my rights–my right to be angry, my right to be bitter, my right to be right, my right to hold back forgiveness. I put all of my hope, my trust and my rights into your hands.