Should God’s People Be Assertive?
By Dr. David L. Antion
Must God’s people sit helplessly by while others take away their rights? How is it that God’s servants can go boldly and respectfully to God but fear to speak boldly and respectfully to church leaders? This attitude was even in some churches in Paul’s day. 2 Corinthians 11:20: “In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or pushes himself forward or slaps you in the face” (NIV).
Most people are either “nonassertive” or become “aggressive” when they are in disagreement. Either of these is an extreme. The “nonassertive” Christian goes through life without getting their needs met or their rights. The “aggressive Christian” goes through life sometimes getting their needs met but hurting people in the process.
Understanding our rights is the first step to learning Godly Assertiveness. In the “Bill of Assertive Rights” we find that we have the right to “judge our own behavior, thoughts, and emotions and to take the responsibility for their initiation and consequences upon” ourselves. We have the right to offer “no reason or excuses for justifying” our behavior.
(this article is an excerpt from the May–June 2008 edition of the Sabbath Sentinel)
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