May 05

Do I Always Have to Be Right?

My wife asked me that question a couple of days ago. At first I was angered I wanted to argue. It seems arguing is always my first response. The question did get me thinking what is it that drives me to be right? Is there truly always a right or wrong? So I have been thinking about it and here is my take on myself. It is easier to always see myself as right because then I am perfect and don’t need to change. (I also don’t need a savior if I am perfect.) If my actions and attitudes are always correct then I don’t need to change anything, it is just easier. I don’t have to say I am sorry, and all arguments and disagreements come down to the other person being at fault. In this scenario I am pursuing my own rightness or righteousness. What does scripture say about my own righteousness? It is as filthy rags. So in pursing my own right-ness I am actually chasing after filthy rags.

There are deeper questions to be answered. If I were to always be wrong would it change my value in God’s eyes? Am I still living in a place where I am OK with myself when I am doing things for God, but not OK when I am the perpetrator? If I truly believe that my worth and value are set by a loving God who sacrificed all to reconcile with me, would I have to be right or anything else to be accepted. So then my needing to be right exposes that I am really still living as an orphan, needing to take care of myself. If I was secure in my fathers love knowing that he is taking care of all my needs, wouldn’t I be free to be wrong? Being wrong wouldn’t somehow be a judgement against me, it would simply mean that I was wrong. If my value isn’t attached to my rightness, or my performance what would it matter if I was wrong? Am I free to be wrong?

I think the core issue around being right, is pride. It is a sobering thing to look at scriptures and see what God says about the proud. He says that “He opposes the proud”, do I want God opposing me. When I walk in pride in my rightness I invite the opposition of God. Wow that is sobering. On the other hand read what scripture says about the humble, those who are free to be wrong, then choose which side of the fence you want to be on. Sadly my default response is that of a pride, so it is an effort to walk in humility. I must take up my cross daily, and crucify the flesh whenever it rears it’s ugly head. So how do I know when pride is rearing it’s ugly head? Whenever I need to raise my voice in a discussion, when I am driven to prove the other person wrong, when I am sarcastic there are many more. So when I see these things going on can I put the breaks on my flesh and turn around? That is the mark of a real man.

We are to use Jesus as our example right? When he went before the pilot he didn’t defend himself and the bible says “he didn’t open his mouth make his case.” (loose translation) Why didn’t the son of God defend himself and make himself right? After all he was right, he was righteous, he was perfect. He would have been defending perfection. He chose to leave it in his fathers hands knowing that he had it all in control. This I think is the hardest test of all, only a real man could be falsely accused and choose not to defend himself.

I know a man who displays this characteristic. God has worked mightily through in his life. He ministers to others, and at times his ministry raises hackles with some christian leaders. He has been called into group meetings and told how he is wrong has been verbally castigated. He has chosen to graciously thank them for their time and not defend himself or his work. Defending wouldn’t change their minds it would only cement them in their thinking. He knows where his value lies, it is not in the opinion of others, he knows the fruit of what he has learned and taught, defending it wouldn’t change anything. Now I say there is a real man! There is one who walks like Christ.

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