Monday, February 1, 2010

Would You Rather Be Right or Do Right?

Tomorrow I am on my way to our pastors network retreat.  Part of the weekend includes a check-in time where we share and encourage each other as we reflect on where we currently find ourselves  A couple of the questions we are asked to consider are: What is God saying to me through His word, personally and through others and what am I doing or going to do about what He is saying?

I have been thinking this over for a few days now, and I am going to error on the side of vulnerability in this post.  While God is constantly drawing to my attention, areas in my life that I need to focus and work on, there has been one area specifically over the last little while that has been demanding more of my attention.

It is best summed up by the question a friend confronted me with earlier this week "Would you rather be right or do right?"  This was posed in response to my dissatisfaction and struggle with a situation. This one question however, strikes at the core of my hearts struggle.

My spirit rises up at injustice.  I have always had a very strong sense of right & wrong.  While I am far from perfect and struggle like everyone else to live a righteous life, my conscious is very tender and I am keenly aware of when I am doing wrong. I have very high expectations of myself and others who claim to follow Jesus, and as a result I can sadly, be very judgmental of Christians. I expect people to know and act accordingly, to use common "Christian sense", especially when it comes to loving God and others and being a person of integrity.

So answering the question honestly, I am growing weary of doing right at the sacrifice of being right. Sometimes I just want to stand up and fight and be right, so that others might be held accountable to start doing right.  Here, however are the struggles I face in deciding whether to do right or be right:

1) Knowing what is the right thing to do is a struggle in and of its self. Could it not be that sometimes the right thing to do is to in fact "be right"? What I mean by this is perhaps at times, doing right does not mean, doing what will enable others to continue in their misguided ways, but to stand up and speak out - to fight for what is right-despite the fact that it may cause some turmoil, hurt hearts and chaos.  Again I point to the examples of Martin Luther King, Ghandi etc.

2) When I do choose to "Do Right" instead of "Be Right" I am sometimes left with feelings of resentment and bitterness thinking that the situation has been left unresolved, injustice allowed to fester. Here is what God has been revealing to me personally, through others and His word.  I am not the corrector of wrongs, the outcome of any situation is ultimately not in my hands.  God is judge, and He will bring about justice and should He choose to use me to bring about justice, He will make that abundantly clear, providing opportunities to do so. Proverbs 20:22 reads "Do not say 'I'll get you back for this wrong!' Wait for the Lord and He will deliver You" Justice is not ours to carry out it is the Lord's. 

3) What if I am convinced that I am right - only to find out in the end I am wrong. I am not God, so who I am to assume I even know what is right.  Of course common sense, discernment, wisdom and wise Christian council go a long way to ensuring any of us are not rogue vigilante's. The danger however lies not in what we know but in what we don't know. Only God knows the beginning from the end, the heart and motives, right and wrong.

4) Lack of trust, ungodly control and perhaps pride are the struggles that I really need to face in order to overcome the desire at times to be right.

So what am I going to do about all this?  God helping me, I am going to keep a positive attitude, continuing to focus first on doing right by God then by others but with a glad heart. I am going to address the specks in my own eyes. Most importantly I am going to pray through every situation, trusting that God is in control.  He is a God of justice and really doesn't need or want me getting in the way.  He will deal with each situation, as need be, and in the end Justice will prevail. I am going to let go and let God. Stop trying to do it my way and let God lead, obedient to step up and speak out if He is so calls me to. Wow what a load off my shoulders, one that I was never meant to be placed there in the first place.

To this end I recently set aside the need to be right and have it acknowledged that I was wronged in a personal situation.  Instead I am committed to doing right - because that is the right thing to do for all involved. I can say that it was indeed a liberating experience, that I hope to continue in all areas of my life for all the days to come.

God's word and good advice has satisfied my soul saying "Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not grow weary" Galatians 6:0 


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