Who's Right vs. What's Right
In this country we are consumed with rights. Depending on who you listen to, an unborn child should have a "right" to live, or a woman should have a "right" to an abortion. In the media you will hear people who passionately believe they are right to fight for their rights, destroying others in the process. They speak in angry words against those who don't agree with them. To be on the right side of moral issues with an angry spirit is also a sin.
Unfortunately, this attitude is also found in our churches, our families, and our own hearts. It is easy to get caught up in who's right instead of what's right. When we focus on who's right, our motivation is proving my point, justifying my opinion, proving someone wrong, correcting someone, being vindicated. Do any of these motivations honor God? In a word, no.
When we focus on what's right, we can graciously stand for truth and do so with the heart of the Father. God wants all men to be reconciled (Matt 5:23-26, 18:15-17). So whether it is a political issue or that argument you had with your spouse, God calls us to surrender our "rights" and to pursue what is right, which is reconciliation. God will give us opportunities to choose what's right versus who's right, as He continues to mold us to be more like Himself.
Why choose what's right?
For Jesus' sake: Because I love Jesus and want to obey his prayer for unity in John 17, I will do everything He commands to be reconciled with those He loves. I choose to pursue oneness with all for whom He died. If the cross unites us, let nothing else separate us. John 3:16, 14:15, 21, 23-24; 15:9-14, 17:21-23.
For the Father's sake: Because I love my Father and do not want to grieve His heart of love for His children, I will do everything I can to be in harmony with all His children. Relationship in His family and love for His children is more important to God than my position on anything not essential to salvation. Our heavenly Father is best able to correct His own children. 1 John 5:1-3, Matt 5:9, 2 Cor 5:18-21.
For the Spirit's sake: I do not want to hinder the Holy Spirit by any sinful attitude of anger, unforgiveness, or disunity. Eph 4:29-32, Isa 66:1-2, 32:15a, 17-18; 1 John 4:11-12.
For my sake: Because I want the grace and peace of God to reign in my life, I choose not to harbor bitterness or judgment. An unresolved offense hinders my worship and fellowship with God. I choose to let this situation be God's instrument to train me in grace and righteousness. Heb 12:14- 15, Matt 5:23-24, 5:7, 7:1-2; James 2:13, Rom 14:1, 10-13; 15:1.
For the sake of the church: Because I want the church to be a positive reflection of Jesus, I bring my opinions to the cross. I choose unbroken fellowship in His church because disunity dishonors the name of Jesus and brings reproach on the witness of the church to a lost world. John 17:21- 23, Eph 4:1-6, Gal 2:20.
For the glory of God: Is anything worth forfeiting the glory of God in my life and in His church? No obedience is too costly, too humbling, or too hard, because I want His glory, power, presence, and blessing more than my personal agenda. Rom 15:5-7, John 17:24-26.
Pray that the Holy Spirit will show you the Father's heart. Obey Him, no matter the cost. May Jesus be glorified as you seek to be reconciled with all your brothers and sisters in Christ.
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