I love being right. In sports terms, being right is the equivalent of getting set up for the perfect spike in volleyball and across the net from you is a girl in your Homechurch who only played because you needed a 12th and you just finished convincing her she would not get hit in the head…Oops.
If you’re anything like me, our desire to deliver that satisfying spike trumps the desire to be kind to our friend. That desire to prove to everyone we’re right is a strong one. It is so satisfying to be right. From something small like knowing that one actor in that one movie you saw four years ago, to being on the right side of an argument with a close friend or family member. When this happens the ball is perfectly in the air we know we can just deliver a perfect hit! But we very rarely take a minute to take a look through the net and see the look on our friends face. Sure we’ll get that sweet sweet justification, but in our love of right we forget the right of love.
Imagine a close friend comes up to you in a situation, they are timid to bring up their thoughts with you because they are not sure how you respond. I like to respond by sitting down and in my mind building up a mountain of defenses for myself, I’m very good at it. I listen attentively waiting to slip in my justification, then he gets to the issue and I realize I don’t need a made up excuse, I have a legitimate one! The balls in the air, I know that I am in the right.
Pause. I take a look through the net. My friend is anxious, he is worried that I am are going to respond pretty much the same way I was planning to. Here are the options.
Option One: Spike the ball, the games won time to go out for ice cream, today feels like a Strawberry kind of day.
Option Two: 1 Corinthians 6:7 “The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged?”
I hate being wronged. But I love my friend even more.
Jesus Christ was the most right person in the history of mankind. He never was wrong, ever. Yet he was arrested and treated like a criminal and sent to death on a cross. Jesus very easily could have proven himself right in the situation, he could have called down an army of angels to pick him up and build a statue that says “we’re with Mr.Right” if he wanted to.
Yet in his love for us he gave up his rights (yes pun VERY intended)
Philippians 2: 5-8
“You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges, he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”
Jesus gave up his rights as God to pursue a loving relationship with us. Can I give up my right to rightness to love my friends? I hope so! This is a relatively new conviction I have, but I pray the lord can help me develop it further. I struggle with this a lot, I want to be right all the time. The lord calls us to give that up in pursuit of love. As I continue to grow with the lord, the more I see that loving people is no easy task. I can be nice to someone, but to love them takes a lot more. It is not easy, but nothing worth doing is easy.
I think it is going to be extremely hard to give up my right to right, but hey I’d love to be wrong.