Even the most humble among us has a desire to be right – or to be defended.
Our right to be right can totally overshadow our privilege to be loving! Laying down our rights – It’s not natural — but it is godly.
When we were on home assignment some years ago, there was a misunderstanding between a local pastor and what he thought was the intent of our youngest son to insult his son. The principal of the school knew our son and knew this was a case of a missionary kid not understanding the culture of the USA – it happens!! The boys were fine – but the father of the other child, a local pastor, was quite upset – so the principal suggested that we go to him and talk about what happened; perceptions versus reality. We went to this pastor to apologize for the misunderstanding and to keep this issue from escalating – this pastor’s response to us was, “I want my pound of flesh!” And he said this with a SMILE!!! It all worked out but this highlighted for Lloyd and I the depravity of even the best of us. Oftentimes an apology is not enough! We want the wrong to be made right according to our own standards. I’m so glad Christ didn’t feel that way!! Oh Lord — can you imagine!!??!!
If you call yourself a follower of Christ you must – MUST be willing to take the hit. If they call you a liar, it needs to be enough that you know you didn’t lie even if they print it in the paper and post it on Facebook. If they take what is rightfully yours – you need to have enough faith in the Lord that He will provide what you need and that if there is to be be any vengeance, it belongs to him. If they do cheat you (or cheat on you) – you have to forgive and not give in to your desire to spread the news far and wide that they are a cheat, instead praying that God will forgive and cleanse them from all unrighteousness. It’s that whole concept of giving them both your cloak and your coat – when they want to take your coat.
We are known in America to be a litigious nation. But as members of the Body of Christ — we need to decide to actually live like we were just in this world (sojourners) and not of this world (citizens). Novel idea. This really good looking preacher I know says these words to me and to his children often – “You have no right to be right and no one’s reputation matters but His.” Think about it ..
My prayer is that my own heart will long for the world to see only Him in my actions and that I will be willing at all times to take the blame; take the fall; carry the weight — knowing that He will uphold me with His righteous right hand!!
Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? 1 Corinthians 6:7b