Are You Right?
Ever know someone who always has to be right? It doesn’t matter who it is, or what they are chomping at the bit about, they are always right, and you will always be wrong. Sometimes, they aren’t even right but because they are so drenched in their own pride, they think they are and don’t realize how ignorant they look to people around them who really have a clue. And no matter what you say, you can’t debate with these kind of people. Their mouth is always running, and usually the volume is cranked to 11 – so even if you did manage to get a word in edgewise, you’d be overpowered by their personal surround-sound speaker system. These are the people that come into our lives to rub us the wrong way. Why? We have God to thank for that! For some reason, He thinks He’s gotta teach us something about “keeping the peace”, “turning the other cheek”, “learning humility”, or even possibly “speaking the truth in love” – all lessons that are SO uncomfortable to learn while we’re going through them. I know when it’s coming and know I just gotta hold on till the end of the ride to see exactly what God was up to in the first place for putting me with this person!
Unfortunately, I’ve had my share of those kind of people in my life. It’s hard because you wanna continue to love them despite their arrogance, but it’s not like you’re gonna welcome a regular debate session with open arms. I know there have been times when I have apologized to the other person even though they were the one who was blatantly wronging me. Most of these kind of experiences are because of our inborn nature to desire power over others. It doesn’t matter if it’s with your job, ministry position, your education, expertise, or just talking about how to make green jello. Everybody has this unfortunate pride factor built in and we have to work at mastering it in order to still have friends standing around us at the end of the road. Still unfortunate, I’ve lost some friends along the way because of this little issue of “being right”. You can only take so much barking, usually about nonsense. And although you go through the whole forgiveness steps and try to keep the peace, there can never be true reconciliation until both parties do their part by putting aside their pride, taking a good, hard, honest look at themselves and seeing where they could “possibly” have been in the wrong – either with their attitude or actions, or even lack of actions. “and they’ll know we are Christians by our love…” hmmm…
We all have these hidden agendas about what we expect from people. Sometimes they have no idea we expect certain things from them, and therefore, we are let down because there is no way we can measure up to these unknown expectations. Then we start judging each other on how awful of a friend the other person has been. It’s hard to speak the truth in love, and most people don’t know how to do it right. I’m still not there. We usually hold everything in so much (to keep the peace, right?) until we just can’t take it anymore and either explode, or just walk away never to return, leaving a canyon between us as a result.
Sometimes you do all you can do but it will never resolve perfectly – thus the lesson. You keep the peace, you try to be understanding and forgiving, you never get an apology but still try to reach out and befriend the person, and they may never reciprocate any action or set their pride aside – all because they want to be “right”. Sometimes being right isn’t worth what you lose in return for holding on to your correctness. Sometimes being wrong, even if you aren’t, is the better way. Just remember, the truth always has a way of coming to light and eventually, although you may have been seriously wronged, you can’t hide truth. (Luke 12:2-3) And if you were the one who insisted on being right, you will eventually be found out for the fool you had been. I would rather be wrong than be exposed in the end as an idiot fool. The humility of being wrong is much less of a sting than the feeling of being exposed in your underwear of truth. And I’ve been “wrong” many times over for people. But the true colors will always come through and I’m counting on that someday. Till then, I’m wrong, you’re right.