You're Right, but You're Wrong!
If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. - Romans 12:18
As a math teacher, I am trained to identify what is right and to correct what is wrong. It is in my nature. To be honest, I like it. That's the beauty of math: it is either right or wrong. There is none of that shady gray area stuff like in Language Arts. The thought of choosing the “best” answer always bothered me. I wanted a clear right or wrong. I had no idea why the author wrote the poem or what he was feeling when he did. Just let me solve for x and go on with my day.
In many ways, I have carried that ability to identify and correct right and wrong into every area of my life. I often think I know not only what is right, but what is best for me and everyone involved. I take pride in it sometimes, actually. However, my being right does not always lead to righteousness. Sometimes it leads to strife. God has impressed upon me that holding on to being right over demonstrating His love and righteousness is just wrong.
In Romans 12:18, we are admonished to live at peace with one another. The precursor for that statement is "as much as depends on you". That means we have to do our part. We have to reach out to those who we would rather avoid. We have to try to mend fences that our natural selves would rather leave broken. Do you know how many times I have had to humble myself and reach out to someone who I knew did not have my best interest in mind? I have had to conduct some serious heart checks over the past few weeks, and I have determined that I am going to love God and His people.
I am going to honestly assess my heart and cooperate with God to do my part. That looks different in different situations, but here are a couple of examples: 1) if you have forgiven your spouse, you have to stop bringing it up -- do your part to live at peace 2) if someone hurt you, address the issue -- do your part to live at peace 3) if the mention of someone's name or their success causes a response from you, ask God to reveal what is in your heart and take whatever steps he tells you do -- do your part to live at peace. I know it is hard, but before we get into "Cheek, you don't know what they did to me", take a look at Jesus, your Lord and Savior. He is our example, right?
As a matter of fact, He is the ultimate example. He was totally right in every way. When they led Him to the cross, for a crime He did not commit, they were wrong. When they yelled, "crucify Him", they were wrong. They beat Him. They mocked Him. They nailed His hands and feet. They put a crown of thorns on His head. All of their actions were wrong. You know what He did in response? Luke 23:34: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do". He prayed to God for their forgiveness. Since He and the Father are one, that means He forgave them as well.
Today needs to be the day that you forgive some people. Maybe you just start with praying for them. I am not asking you to "let go" or "move on". That often sounds great, and it is a wonderful message, but the truth is sometimes you have to work through. Work through whatever is in your heart, and choose righteousness over being right. You have too much at stake. God has a great plan for your life. Don't forfeit it by holding on to what they did to you or how it made you feel. Don't hold on to "they are not right". It's just not worth it.