During my childhood in one of our vacations we went to the United States and I was introduced to snow sledging. It thrilled me to go down the hill on that board. The first time, mi cousin carried the sledge up the hilltop and taught me how to go down, but afterwards he said: “now that you’ve learned, you can carry your own sledge up and enjoy the ride down.”
Soon I learned what the kids from the north already knew, that to sledge down the hill was extremely pleasant but to go up carrying it was extremely tiring. I also learned that to have the pleasure of sliding down I had to accept the torture of going up.
In the sphere of rights and responsibilities the same principles remain. The benefits to receive imply obligations to accept. The rights grant us many benefits but the responsibilities impose us many obligations. Great measure of the world’s difficulties is that some have rights with no obligations and others have obligations with no rights.
The Bible teaches that in the Eden as a consequence of sin God ordained that man would eat bread from its own sweat; to eat without sweating or to sweat without eating is contrary to the divine’s ordinance. As Christians we cannot accept the tendencies that unburden some in consequence of burdening others.
We cannot close our eyes to the sad reality that much too many people still leave in extreme poverty and many are victims of modern slavery. Many are the causes behind this overly dark picture, but at the root of all of them is the fact that many are eating form the others’ sweat. What a tremendous lesson we learn from the primitive church, where all lived in common and all shared their belongings!
Which rights and responsibilities do you think you should have?
What can you do for all to work and eat in your community?
(To sweat to eat, Genesis 3:17-19 – Not to eat without sweating, 2 Thessalonians 3:10-11)