In a small village, there were two women that got into a terrible dispute they could not resolve so they decided to talk to the wise, old town sage.
The first woman went into the sage’s home and told him her version of what had happened. When she had finished, the sage said, “You’re absolutely right.”
The second woman then went into the sage’s home and told him her version of what happened. When she had finished, the sage said, “You’re absolutely right.”
Afterward, the sage’s wife scolded her husband, “Those two women told you two completely different stories, and you told them they were both absolutely right. But that is impossible. They both cannot be absolutely right.”
And being a wise man, the sage turned to his wife and said, “You’re absolutely right.”
It’s a funny story. But isn’t it the truth?
Many times, when we’re caught up in a fight, we feel the need to be right and just want someone to validate that feeling.
But that is where we go wrong.
Because we can’t all be right.
Why do I feel like I always need to be right?
The first step for any kind of change is admitting that there is a problem. And digging deeper into why we feel this way.
Because there is a reason we always feel the need to be right. And we can’t change the way we feel until we understand why we feel this way.
The truth is when we want to be right, more than anything it often has a lot more to do with our pride. We want to be looked up to. We crave recognition. Admiration. Accolades.
We want power and control. Because then we can keep things just the way we like them.
Being right makes us feel like we have power. And if we have power, then we feel like we have control. And being in control makes us feel like we can manage everything in our lives.
It gives us the illusion that we can keep things exactly the way we want them. That we can keep things from changing. And we can stop bad things from happening.
But if we dig even deeper, we realize that this need for power and control stems from another feeling . . . FEAR.
We are afraid of being hurt. We are afraid of losing what is important to us. We are afraid of change. Of the unknown. Of all the “what ifs”.
And we think if we maintain power and control then we can keep these things from happening.
But the problem is that this is an illusion. It isn’t real. It’s all a lie.
Because we can’t control everything. We can’t keep things from changing. And we can’t stop bad things from happening.
Everyone has good days and bad days. Moments of sunshine and moments of rain. Seasons where life is good. And seasons where life causes us pain.
The only One who is truly in control of everything at every moment is God.
How do you overcome the need to be right?
There are so many things we can disagree on. So many issues that can cause us to argue and fight. So many feelings that can fuel a passion within us to prove we are the ones who are in the right.
But when we are constantly fighting about who is right, our relationships end up being sacrificed. Because if there is a winner in every fight . . . then that also means there is a loser.
Which means someone walks away not feeling so great. Maybe feeling hurt. Angry. Sad. Misunderstood. And many times, this can lead to the death of our relationships.
While we may feel great about proving ourselves right. In the end, we may just end up all alone. Because no one wants to be around someone who always has to be right.
And being all alone is not good for us.
This is why it is so important that we learn how to let go of the need to be right so that we can honor Christ in all areas of our life.
And there are 5 easy steps that can help us do just that.
Step 1: Choose to trust Jesus Christ.
The first step in letting go of our need to be right is to CHOOSE to trust Jesus Christ.
We have to make a conscious effort to trust Him. It doesn’t come naturally. It isn’t easy. It is a CHOICE we have to make every moment of every day.
And we make this intentional choice by remembering what we know is true about God:
- He loves us. (Romans 8:35, 38-39)
- He knows what is best for us. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
- He has a good plan for our lives. (Jeremiah 29:11)
- Even when life doesn’t seem to be going good, God can use ALL things for our good. (Romans 8:28)
- And He has promised to make everything right someday. (Rev. 21:4)
Remembering His many great and precious promises to us helps us choose to trust Him, even when we don’t understand how what He is allowing could possibly be a part of His plan.
Step 2: Get to know God better. Because you can’t trust someone you don’t know.
It’s hard to make the choice to trust someone you don’t know. But as you get to know someone, you begin to see who they really are. You get a glimpse of their character and can see if they are trustworthy or not.
In the same way, we will have a really hard time choosing to trust God and let go of our need to be right if we don’t know Him.
As we get to know Him better, we realize that He really is in control, even when everything around us feels out of control.
We realize that He knows so much more than we do about what we are going through. And we realize that we can lay down our right to be right and simply trust God to work things out in His perfect time.
So, if you find yourself struggling with the need to be right all the time, spend more time with Jesus Christ.
- Read your Bible.
- Meditate on His Words.
- Be still in His Presence.
And let His peace that passes all understanding drive away all your fears.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”-Philippians 4:6-7 NIV
Step 3: Realize you may not be right.
When dealing with conflict and the need to be right, we need to keep in mind that we may not be right.
We could be wrong.
We don’t know everything, and we often tend to be blind to our own shortcomings, sins, and imperfections.
“A wise man never knows all. Only fools know everything.”-African Proverb
We need to keep an open mind. Be willing to listen. Try to see things from the other person’s point of view. And let the Holy Spirit show us what is true.
Because even if we don’t end up agreeing with the other person, we may still learn a thing or two.
“Every conflict we face in life is rich with positive and negative potential. It can be a source of inspiration, enlightenment, learning, transformation, and growth-or rage, fear, shame, entrapment, and resistance. The choice is not up to our opponents, but to us, and our willingness to face and work through them.”-Kenneth Cloke
The Holy Spirit can use our conflicts and differences of opinion to reveal things in us that may need to change. Like our need to be right. Our stubbornness and pride. Or our lack of trust in Him.
“Whenever you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.”-William James
Our conflicts can actually help us to grow and develop our character when we stop walking into them with an attitude of “I’m going to prove that I am right.”
And instead, choose to walk in with a better attitude of thinking:
- What can I learn from this?
- And what is God trying to show me in this?
Because we know that God can use even our conflicts for our good. And His glory. To help us learn how to compromise, work together, and look for reasonable solutions for the ultimate good of our relationships with one another.
“Don’t find fault, find a remedy.”-Henry Ford
Step 4: Remember the grace you have been given.
We have all sinned. And we are all in desperate need of His grace every single day. So, how can we look down on another Christian who makes mistakes, isn’t perfect, or has fallen into sin?
Rather than feeling the need to be right and prove that they are in the wrong . . . we should humbly remember how many times Jesus has saved us. From things we may still feel ashamed of.
And then we should reach down into their mess, help them stand back up, and point them back to Jesus.
After all, Jesus didn’t condemn the woman caught in adultery. Although, He had every right to. (As He was the only person in that crowd who had never sinned.)
Instead, He offered her grace. Told her to sin no more. And sent her on her way.
When people sin . . . they don’t need our condemnation. They need an encounter with Him. So, keep pointing people to Jesus. Because He is the only One who can soften hearts, open minds, and change lives.
It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict a person to repent. Not ours.
A truly humble person focuses on their own imperfections, improving themselves, and remembering how they need Jesus in every moment of every day. Not the sins of others.
If by chance they notice another person’s sin, and they have a relationship with that person . . . they may point it out gently in love. But their goal is never to judge or criticize them, but rather their focus is on the well-being of the other person and their relationship with Jesus.
“The true saint burns grace like a 747 burns fuel on take off.”-Dallas Willard
Step 5: Remember the bigger picture.
In John 17:20-23 Jesus is praying for unity among His followers and all those who would ever believe in Him because of them (which includes us). And then He says this:
“Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”-John 17:23b NIV
Somehow, by getting along with each other we help the world to believe in Jesus.
Which is pretty incredible.
But unfortunately, this is not the picture of Christianity that many people see.
Instead, they see the not-so-nice ways we treat each other. How we fight with each other. Point out each other’s mistakes. And argue with each other because we feel the need to be right.
Rather than choosing to agree to disagree on the minor things so we can love another brother or sister in Christ.
They see us post Jesus memes. And then use our keyboards to attack each other.
And when the world sees us act like this . . . is it any wonder they don’t want to have anything to do with Christianity?
How to stop being a right fighter.
You can stop being a right fighter. (Someone who is always fighting to prove they are right.) Because you don’t have to be right all the time. And the reality is, most of the time we don’t even need to figure out who is right.
It doesn’t matter.
Because when we take up the cause to be right, we end up dropping the cross, and then the image the world sees of Jesus is blurred.
But when we choose to lay down our right to be right. When we choose to keep standing by each other’s side as we take up our crosses . . . that is when the world gets a clear view of our savior Jesus Christ.
We need to ask ourselves what is more important: proving our point? Or pointing others to Jesus?
What is more important is to lay down our right to be right so we can instead take up the cross of Christ and love another person even if they are not in the right.
Because the most important thing . . . is bringing other lost souls to the only One who can save them and make them whole.
Everyone in this world is looking for a place to belong. A place where they know they will be loved and accepted.
Wouldn’t it be great if that place was the church?
As Christians, we can help our churches become loving and welcoming communities when we lay down our need to be right . . . and instead take up the cross of Christ.
Trusting God and letting Him guide, direct, and lead us every single day.
“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”-Ephesians 4:3 NIV
Laying Down Our Need to Be Right . . . And Taking Up the Cross of Christ.
Maybe this message has been a hard one to hear. Maybe you really struggle with feeling the need to be right. And you’re now realizing the damage you may have done.
Thank goodness for God’s grace. That is available to us every moment of every day because of Jesus.
Because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, even when we make mistakes, sin against one another, and deal harshly with each other . . . God is fully capable of redeeming it all and using it for His glory.
We can repent. Ask for forgiveness. And move on.
Letting the Holy Spirit change us from the inside out so we can become women who work together to make an impact on this world for Jesus.
Women who focus less on our differences. And more on what we have in common: a love for Jesus and a desire for the world to know Him.
Women who realize that when we lay down our need to be right . . . we are then able to truly love others and point them to Jesus Christ.
Which is a way better feeling than being right.
If you find this motivating then please share it so others can be motivated to change as well!
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