Speaking up for others
Week beginning: 9th December, 2018 | By Laurence Wilkinson | London
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."Proverbs 31:8-9 (NIV)
Today marks the 70th anniversary of the United Nations officially adopting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which was drafted in the aftermath of World War II.
Seen by many as the "constitution" of international human rights law, the UDHR sets out many fundamental rights and freedoms that recognise the importance of upholding the inherent dignity of all. Sadly, in the 70 years since the UDHR was adopted, it is apparent that many important aspects of the UDHR are being ignored, distorted or even abused.
As Christians, our understanding of human rights is best informed by our belief in God, who endowed us with dignity, who loves us, cares for us and even laid down His own 'rights' to became one of us.
This passage in Proverbs urges us to consider the rights of others, and to stand up and speak up for the vulnerable.
While the UDHR is aspirational on many levels, we are ultimately called to a higher standard as believers in Christ. However, as lawyers, we can appeal to much of the foundational language and intention of the UDHR which seeks to uphold basic human rights for everyone.
As you reflect on the passage, ask the Lord how you can respond to the charge of speaking up for the rights and freedoms of those who cannot speak for themselves.
1. Praise God for His sacrificial love, which paid the debt of sin that we could never pay ourselves.
2. Pray for opportunities to speak up for the rights of others; particularly the poor, the oppressed and the vulnerable.