If you’ve spent any time at all around small children, you know one of their very first words is “Mine.” This has got to be one of my favorite words, too! This is MY personal space, MY home, MY time, MY seat, MY car, MY lane, MY country, MY rights.
So, can I square all this “mine-ness” with the Gospel? Take a moment to consider what the Apostle Paul writes to the Church in Corinth and to us in I Corinthians 9:12: “…we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.”
In a recent post on the blog sponsored by ABTS’ Institute for Middle East Studies, Elie Haddad, President of ABTS, writes, “I believe that the Church functions a lot more effectively from the margin than it does from the center. I believe that the Church should take on advocacy (lobbying), not for our own rights and comfort and self-preservation, but for the needs of the others around us, including our perceived enemies. Essentially, I believe that this is a great day for the Church in the Arab world.” (Check out this blog at http://imeslebanon.wordpress.com)
As the Church in the West, we need to take a hard look at our “mine-ness.” Much like the martyrs of old, our brother and sisters in Middle East who are living through the Arab Spring, offer us valuable lessons about how God is drawing many to Himself as Christians lay down their own rights and speak up for others’ rights, even the rights of their enemies. Let’s take some time to learn from them. Please pray that God will give them deep courage to continue living godly lives, publicly and privately. And please pray that Holy Spirit will lead us daily to be servants, laying down our rights so that many will know Jesus.