When I was 14 years old, in 9th grade, I wanted to go to “The Stable.” No, I’m not talking about going to the barn in our backyard or to my friend Sandy’s where they had a slew of horses. The Stable was a dance place for teenagers. There were several places like this and all my friends were going. My problem was my parents, who were not going to let me go. They were not overly strict, but they did have a way of knowing what was going on. My Dad was the high school principal and they had their ears to the ground. Their decision was so upsetting to me. As I started high school I was convinced that my absence from such popular places would doom me forever. I never gave up on the fact that they were wrong to isolate me in this way. I dug my heels in and even if I didn’t express it to them all the time, I knew that I was RIGHT. For years I held onto this. They were wrong! It’s embarrassing to admit, but I was probably in my early 40’s before I finally admitted they had made a wise decision.
This “disaster” in my life didn’t change the course of American History. Yesterday, I did think about it while reading the newspaper. There was nothing new, just, “Partisan battle lines in Congress hardened.” The issue at hand is the surge of Central American children crossing into the U.S. There is debate from every political and social side but, no agreement. Heels are dug in and solutions get farther away as the rhetoric becomes louder and stronger. Yada yada yada! The more energy that is invested in each point of view and the “right” way, the more time goes by and the more damage incurs–all because individuals and groups have a stronghold on being right. Each shouts that he is on the side of justice. The opposition is wrong. The need to sell our point can allow us to win the battle but, lose the war. Yes, we can be right but, we may be dead right.
When I have taken self evaluation tests I always score high in my need for justice. If I perceive injustice with others or myself, I have a hard time letting it go. However, when my children were little and one cried because her piece of pie was not as big as her sister’s, I always had a response, “Life is not fair.” It was so easy letting this roll off my tongue. But, when they were older and I saw their souls and spirits crushed by an injustice I wasn’t so quick with my stock response. I wanted to rescue. I wanted to make it right. I wanted to make it fair. Most of the time my hands were tied. All I could do was love and pray for them.
When we think that a person is not heading in the right direction or that a situation isn’t going right, it is hard to let that go. To let others think they are right, even when you might disagree, is not easy. Ah, the need to control is so strong that the benefit of listening and learning from each other is often thrown out the window. This is when the world closes in and we don’t move forward. There are always gray areas whether in world events or in our personal lives. When justice, fairness, and being right become the highest goals in our personal relationships, the love and affection found there can deteriorate. I’m grateful that my parents had love as their highest aim when they sought to do what they considered “right.”
Love embraces the right and the wrong. Sometimes it’s right to be wrong and wrong to be right. Jesus never separates what we say from the manner in which it was spoken. He teaches that the motive behind the words spoken or the action taken counts more than what is said or done. If we don’t have love, we cannot be right(1 Corinthians 13). Jesus lived this out for us. He who was just and right asked the Father to forgive those he knew to be so wrong. Our lives have been changed because He was right.
It turns out that “Life is not fair,” is not a trite expression. What I told my little girls is something I need to tell myself: Life is not fair, but He is. There is so much injustice that He had to take it on himself. The only way to be right is to have a righteousness that He purchased for us. The problem of injustice is bigger than I’ve ever felt, that is why I need a Saviour.
“For The Lord is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face.” Psalm 11:7 (NIV)
“God’s business is setting things right; he loves getting the lines straight, setting us straight. Once we’re standing tall, we can look him straight in the eye.” Psalm 11:7 (The Message)
5 thoughts on “Right and Wrong”
A wise man taught me that the relationship to a person always comes before being right.
“There is so much injustice that He had to take it on himself.”
Makes me so thankful for God’s grace.
I say it almost weekly but this is your best post to date! Keep them coming!
God is so amazing in how He is able to show us our faults in such a loving way through such loving and wise people. Thank you Lindy. I am so grateful for your writings. Melinda
I am enjoying your insight on different topics. Some thought provoking subjects of interest for us to share with others. Thank you Lindy.