Summary: Our lives are mostly composed of our interpersonal relations, so being right is hardly a right at all. Mainly we mortgage our integrity and goodness when we assert our rightness. (Article from wit4life.com)
As a foundation let us read and absorb Galatians 5:13-25
For you are called to freedom, brothers; only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love. For the entire law is fulfilled in one statement: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. But if you bite and devour one another, watch out, or you will be consumed by one another. I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar, about which I tell you in advance--as I told you before--that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit.
I’ve been thinking, we often feel the need to be right more than we feel the need to be kind, don’t we? This has to stop. We all do it, but how many opportunities do we miss and how many bonds do we injure when we pick being correct over being amiable? We feel we have the right to be right. We may think it is our right, but if exercise this right we may have it all wrong.
Indulge this scenario:
A young man named, say “Peter”, thinking he has common ground with an admired colleague, attempts to strike up a dialogue. He his enthusiasm he says, “Hello, Mr. Marshall, I see you researched the same topic as I did!”
The response is met with, “Yes, I did; but I’m Dr. Marshall.” (End of conversation.)
Here an opportunity to form a connection, to be gracious or to even be friendly was squandered. Will Peter attempt to converse again? Not likely. This may seem like a minor point at first, but if our goal is to be imitators of Jesus Christ it is a very important aspect to our Christian journey. Thinking about it, how many times do we insert our correctness in a typical week? (Once you reach double digits, stop counting.)
Do we to tell others “The way it really is”, or “Actually, these are the correct details of the story,” or “I do it like this”? How often do we trip up on the details and forget the greater aim: relating well to others? When we major in minor points, do we do it at the expense of our goodness? I say, yes.
Was Dr Marshall right? Yes. Did he seem warm or benign? Nope. Taking occasions to be proper or precise is not strength of character. It is most often done to the detriment of graciousness; so it is a weakness of character. Mainly we mortgage our integrity and goodness when we assert our rightness. We become untrustworthy and unsafe. To be right can be very expensive to our future endeavors. And what a price to pay in our relationships too!
How would you rather people felt about you? 1) He’s such a smart and gracious person. Or 2) He makes sure you know he’s right. I would venture a sentiment beyond poor choice #2. “Yes, he may be correct, but I don’t want to spend much time with him.” Desiring to be right more than being considerate really means you make a better encyclopedia than a person. If others feel that about any of us, it is a sad commentary on our life.
Our lives are mainly composed of our interpersonal relations, so being right is hardly a right at all. Living right, as it were, involves routinely gracing others with compassion. Compassion often means we are merciful and affable as we put our preciseness on the backburner. Yes, almanacs are utilitarian, but they make lousy neighbors, friends or family members!
Have you ever heard the saying, “Our rights come with responsibility”? Let us realize when we feel the need (or right) to be right we must also utilize a copious amount of responsibility. Our responsibility is to not be accurate in lieu of being kind. Are we afraid that if we appear less “right” we then seem less competent?
Don’t be fooled, at these times it is not our competency put to the test, it is our character, (which in fact also judges us as competent or incompetent in the living wisely category). When we choose to be right instead of to be wise we actually error twice. Then, both our disposition and our life skills are faulty.