In my opinion you can absolutely be right and yet completely in the wrong. Being right is not all it’s cracked up to be and is not the most important thing in many situations. In fact, I’d suggest that often times when we’re in pursuit of being right we often end up on the wrong side of that to which we originally were in search of. In other words I think that often times it’s wrong to be right.
There are moments when our compulsion to be right leads us down a dirty path. A path where we can be
If I am right and you are wrong then what is most important is that I help you find the path to rightness.
If I am right and you are wrong then what is most important is that you understand why you’re wrong so that you can be rescued from your wrongness.
If I am right and you are wrong then me helping you understand the error of your ways is the right thing to do.
If I am right and you are wrong then the most loving thing I can do is fight for what is right.
If I am right and you are wrong then I have the freedom, nay, the responsibility to speak into your life even if that word is unsolicited.
If I am right and you are wrong then my job is to speak not to listen.
If I am right and you are wrong then…
Oh, there are so many “if’s” that we could list! When we believe that we are right we so often believe that this gives us additional freedoms. But it does not. Being right (which is quite subjective in the first place) does not in any way give us a platform to speak into another’s life. It just doesn’t. We think that it does, we feel like it should, we genuinely (with good intentions I think) want to help. But being right does not equal doing right.
You can be right and still be a jerk.
You can be right and still be unkind.
You can be right and still be undignified.
You can be right and still be completely lacking in grace.
You can be right and still be completely miserable.
You can be right…
I don’t believe it’s wrong to be in pursuit of being right. But I do think that sometimes (honestly…often times) I could care less if you’re right. For one, you’re never right as often as you think (you do know that right?). Secondly, I personally value people more than I value being right and I often find that those two values clash. Thirdly…I didn’t actually have a third point here…but if I were to have a third point I think I might say that when our goal is the pursuit of rightness (a goal that I do not think is inherently wrong) I think we run the risk of missing out living rightly along the way. We work so hard to BE right that we forget to do right by others. The worst part is that, speaking personally here, many of the things that I knew were absolutely right ten years ago I find to be absolutely laughable today! What I used to bank on as right I now understand completely differently!
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that we never suffer from doing good and we can never over-love. So…what if we spent our energies
Listening to people instead of telling them how we’re right
Extending dignity to people rather than telling them how their wrong
Being humble in our understanding of ourselves rather than taking an arrogant approach of assuming our own rightness
Being compassionate in our interaction with others instead of fighting for our own ends
Pursuing understanding over and above proving how our own ideas are correct
One might argue that being right and being kind are not in opposition to each other–which is absolutely true…sometimes…oftentimes…occasionally…in theory…In my experience, however, what I often observe and am tempted to live into is that when faced with the opportunity to prove myself right over and above another person (or their opinion) I will sacrifice kindness or generosity to prove myself the winner. I’ll prioritize truthiness over and above grace or gentleness. Being right usually wins out and it often costs something–and that cost? More and more I’m discovering that it’s people’s feelings, it’s potential relationships, it’s the dignity of others. Beating you down with knowledge–even good knowledge–is still a beat down. And that’s not right.