Sunday, July 1, 2012

Right Not Right

Right Not Right
July 2, 2012
1 Cor 8:9  "Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak."

We always like to be right, to prove to others that we know what we are talking about, to gloat when the facts prove our point.  We go out of our way sometimes to let others know we are in the right (especially our spouses).  It is a contradiction of self if we are wrong; we HAVE to be right, our personal security and self worth rest in it.  We find ways to support our own beliefs and refuse to look foolish if there is a possibility we are wrong.  We even plan our defense beforehand at times, just in case someone might question if we are right.

The Lord allows us to be right (and wrong).  He has given us a free will and we are allowed to do what we want, though He may not approve of everything.  You are allowed to do anything you'd like, even if it is a sin.  You can even prove to others when you are right and assert your rightful place in life.  But it is not always best to do so.  In fact, you have the right to demand your rights, but you also have the recommendation to keep your rights to yourself.  The Lord actually recommends that you keep it all to yourself, especially when it is usually in the best interest of others.

Consider drinking alcohol for a moment.  Though getting drunk is a sin, consuming alcohol, in and of itself, is not a sin; it is not wrong.  You have the right to drink a glass of wine.  However, if in drinking that glass of wine, you might offend your brother or cause someone else to struggle, then the Lord asks you to keep that right to yourself and not exercise it.  You have the right to be right, but you also have the right to not exercise your rights.

Scripture says many times over that it is better to keep things to yourself than to cause a scene, create drama for someone else, or enable someone else to stumble.  If you lived on an island, by yourself, then there are few things you could do that could be considered wrong.  But when there are so many other people who are affected by your life and actions, it is your duty as a Christian to lay down your rights in an effort to promote peace and the well-being of others.  The Lord commends you when you lay down your rights and actually says it is BETTER to not assert your rights.  This seems backward, but it does not matter if others know you are right.  As long as the Lord is aware, and knows what you've done, you have done the better thing.  Being right is not actually right.  Laying down your rights is best, as it is then that you are exemplifying the embodiment of Christ and demonstrating love for your fellow man.

Keep your actions to yourself and your mouth shut when tempted to prove how you're right.  In doing this, you will gain the favor of the Lord and accomplish His will on this earth.  Promote others ahead of yourself; you have the right to do this.  Prove to me how you're right and I'll show you where you're wrong.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Prov 21:2-3, Prov 31:8, Is 1:17, Is 51:7-8, Matt 6:1-3, Rom 6:13, 1 Cor 6:12, 1 Cor 7:35, 1 Cor 9:1-15, 1 Cor 10:23, James 3:18, 1 Peter 4:8

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