Have you ever had a conversation that went differently than you thought it would? I had a conversation like that recently with someone that I love and respect. It left me scratching my head and asking myself, “Why does this bother me so much?” Even though we both spoke our minds and it was intense for a bit, when it was over I wasn’t angry and my feelings weren’t hurt, but I don’t know if the other person can say that.
I don’t know about you, but so many times I want to be RIGHT. But do I want to be RIGHTEOUS? That is the bigger question that demands an answer! I am learning that they aren’t the same thing!
Being RIGHT or correct is a matter of “my” limited knowledge about something. I can still be correct and handle it wrong. My mom used to say:
“If you’re right, you don’t have to argue, and if you’re wrong-you shouldn’t!”
That has always stayed with me! At the end of this approach, being RIGHT is more about me.
Being RIGHTEOUS is a character trait that reflects the values that God calls us to more than what “I” know. It implies submission and surrender to His will if we love Him more than ourselves. It speaks the truth, but with love! Galatians 2:20 is the Scripture that I was reminded of as I processed this interaction:
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
At the end of this approach, being RIGHTEOUS is more about God than me.
It took me a couple of days to realize something and maybe this will help you too!
1 - Remember that our opinions, preferences, and speculations mean ABSOLUTELY nothing in God’s Kingdom! Truth does! God's word is truth!
2 - If our opinions, preferences, and speculations don’t line up with God’s will, they quickly become about us and our agenda rather than His.
3 - Receive correction with humble gratitude because He loves you.
4 - Pray for those who have let themselves get in the way of God's will.
There will always be conversations that we will have that will center on our social lives, personal or professional lives, church lives, the news or political views. They will always provide lively discussions based on differences of opinions, speculations, life experiences, and preferences. But when the dust settles, there is one question left to answer:
If Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us - shouldn't we do the same for Him?
Let the profession of our faith in Christ reflect in us the practice of HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS in the way that we:
think (meditate, study, plan, understand,etc.)
use our voices (sing, speak, pray, vote, teach, etc.)
do things (serve, worship, play, shop, work, etc.)