March 24, 2010

Being Right

I woke up this morning with this thought: is it every OK to say, "I am right about this or that?"

As I pondered this thought, I was checking my email and KLOVE's word of the day said this:

So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. 1 Corinthians 15:58 NLT

I read this Scripture before hitting the delete button, and immediately I had my answer. YES! There are times when we are RIGHT, and those times always align with the Word of God. Therefore, if we say "I am RIGHT about this point" and we can back it up with Scripture, then indeed we are RIGHT. We are using the Word of God for our standard, and not our own arbitrary and flawed system of justice.

God's Word is the only thing that offers true JUSTICE. It is the only place where evil is clearly exposed, and righteousness clearly championed. If we need to know if something is forbidden by God, we go to His Word to find out. If we need to know if something is good and profitable, we go to His Word and find out what those things are.

Phil. 4:8 says "And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise."

If we do as the Word says, "fix our thoughts" on these kinds of things, we will help control our behavior, and we will choose to do things that are RIGHT, that are righteous in accordance with the Word of God.

The more I thought about this today, the more I understood that when we say "I am right" and are using our own system of justice and justification, then we run the risk of being arrogant and foolish. Our system, no matter how noble can never truly be JUST. It will always be tilted towards our advantage, towards ourselves. Why? Pride, of course. Out of our pride, stems our need to be right. We must be right. We can never be wrong. We know best. We can have the loftiest of intentions, but ultimately we are seeking only to glorify our own self, our own image, our own thinking proccess. We want what is not ours to have, but only that which belongs to the One who is JUST and RIGHTEOUS.

This is why the Word says that "there is no one righteous. There is no one who does good." As Christians, we no longer are to stand in our own righteousness, because it accounts for nothing in God's system of FAIRNESS and RIGHTNESS. No, we come before the Lord wearing only His Righteousness. Therefore, it is important to remember that before we demand any "rights" from any person or organization on this side of heaven, we need to make sure it is not our rights, but those RIGHTS that are granted to us by God in Heaven.

If His Word says this is evil, and this is GOOD, and we agree with Him; then we can say "I am right about this because God said it first." God called a "spade a spade" and He calls this behavior sin. Therefore, I can say it is sin as well. I am not judging the sin, but the Word of God is the final authority and JUDGMENT on what is sin and what is not.

I think the biggest mistake we make (and have made for years and years and years) is to believe that somehow we are guaranteed rights in this flawed and faulty world. We want JUSTICE that is fair. We want to know that if we are offended, hurt, oppressed, etc., we will receive a fair hearing, a righting of the wrong, and JUSTICE for our cause. Unfortunately, because of the world we live in, justice is never fair. It is arbitrary and contrary, and often benefits the perpetrator and not the victim. However, we can take comfort in the knowledge that God is impartial and that He will JUDGE everyone fairly and according to the deeds (behaviors, actions and outcomes) in their lives.

FAIRNESS, RIGHTNESS, AND JUSTICE are coming. We must be patient and wait for His return. We will find only a shadow of these things in this life. We must also be careful when we assert ourselves as being right or wrong in a matter. Scripture is our best defense, and it is our ally. God has given us His Word so that we can know His Mind. We can know how He would decide a case or situation. We can know how to act or react, how to judge, and how to meet out justice with fairness. We must make sure we are following His RULE and not our own or not some mix-up version of Scripture/Mankind.

The Word of God is FAIR. It is TRUE. And, if you seek JUSTICE from the One who is always JUST, you will find that He is an impartial JUDGE. He will rule honestly in all matters. If you seek JUSTICE from the hand of God, know that you will need to set aside your own petty and personal attempt at fairness, and be willing to accept His pronouncement. He will be FAIR with you, but you may not be vindicated of all your righteous behavior. You may find that you have some humbling to do before His Mighty Throne. The Good News is though that if you do seek His Justice, you will find GRACE and COMPASSION and FORGIVENESS. You will find the FAIRNESS you so desperately seek because of all the things He is, He is always RIGHTEOUS.

The Righteous One takes note of the house of the wicked and brings the wicked to ruin. ~Prov. 21:12

We hear songs of praise from the ends of the earth,songs that give glory to the Righteous One! But my heart is heavy with grief.Weep for me, for I wither away.Deceit still prevails,and treachery is everywhere. ~Isaiah 24:16

“Then he told me, ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and hear him speak." ~Acts 22:14

"My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous." ~1 John 2:1

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