Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Always Right?

I've had a thought today. Actually this thought has been playing a big part in my life lately. I've even developed a quote around it:

"Just because you may always be right doesn't mean that you must always be right."

Let that sink in for a moment.

What does this, somewhat, cryptic quote mean? Let me equate it to a Person, not just any person, but The Person, Jesus Christ. Here is the only person that lived who was always right..... about everything. But did He always try to win an argument? Did He always exert His knowledge and reasoning to prove Himself right? No. Just look at the story of the rich young ruler (Mark 10:17-27). Here a young ruler in the temple came to Christ, knowing that he did not have what it took to be saved and asked Jesus what he needed to do. Jesus took him through a whole laundry list of sins and the young ruler said that he had not committed any of them. Really? I would think that he had told a lie, or even thought of telling a lie even just once, but Jesus does not address that issue. Jesus doesn't try to prove anything to him regarding those sins and the one he just committed by lying to Christ Himself in the flesh.

Jesus could have said to this fellow," Whoa there man. You remember that time when your mother asked if you broke the water bowl and you told her that your brother knocked it in the floor?" Which would have shown that he was a liar and didn't respect his mother and had hate in your heart for blaming it on your brother. No, Jesus doesn't try to prove this man wrong, but points to a place that He knows the young ruler will be pierced straight through. Money.

Or maybe a story that we can all relate to in one way or another, that of Peter's denial of Jesus. Jesus had told Peter that he would deny Him before the rooster crowed. Peter was adamant that he would never deny Jesus, but we all know what happened. Peter did just as Jesus had said, but yet Jesus never brought that up to Peter, unless you count the 3 times that Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him (John 21:15-17), which some say was Jesus giving Peter the opportunity to "un-deny" Him.

Of course, the ultimate way Jesus did not try to prove He was right was on the Cross at Calvary. Jesus, the Lamb of God who had never even had the thought of sin cross His mind, willingly said "I'm wrong", even though He was ALWAYS right. He bore the sins of the world, taking the wrath of the Father upon His own body, so that we could be reconciled to Him. He was always right, but yet He didn't feel the need to be outwardly.

Knowing these stories (and others) in the Word of God, we take them all in the fullness of scripture and see verses like:

Mark 8:35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.

Matthew 5:11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.

2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 
John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 
1 John 4:7-11 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 

Now, is this "laying your life down" the actual, physical stepping in front of a bullet or pushing your buddy out in from the path of a semi-truck and getting hit yourself? Probably not, but it could be. What the point of "laying your life down" is that you put other's needs, feelings, emotions and well being above your own. You may actually be right in a disagreement, but that doesn't mean that you keep arguing your point to the brink of losing your relationship over it. You can just realize that the "greater  good" is peace and love, in the Name of Christ. As He willfully laid His life for you, even though He was right, you do the same thing in this less weightier matter.

It's a matter of love, a matter of the heart, as all things are. Where is your heart in this particular situation? Is it so bent on proving you are right, that you have 5 points and 3 websites that prove you're right, really more important than causing greater strife? Is the feeling of, "Yes, I put you in your place!" showing the love of Christ, when Jesus was put in your place? Can we not just treat the other person as though they are right and just pray that God reveal it to them in some other fashion? Why must we prove ourselves "right" every time? We don't have to. All in the name of love and unity and to the Glory of Christ.

(This if course is not the case for heretical doctrine. We must always stand on the Word of God when His Word is attacked. Be careful here,, too, as how you say something can be just as important as what you say. Always speak the truth in love and let God do with it as He wills Ephesians 4:15)

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