It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog. Shame on me. Just kidding. I go through phases where I just don’t want to do it. Blogging for me is mostly about processing a lesson God is teaching me and sharing with others. It’s cathartic.
So, God has been teaching me tons of things during this quarantine. All of them have been Him stretching me and sharpening me and shaping me. Also, all of them hurt. If I tell you nothing else today, know this: GROWTH HURTS. One of my favorite quotes says, “When the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of change, that’s when you’ll grow.” I’ve gotten to a place where I’m over being the same, and I want to grow to be more like Christ. I asked for it. I’ve prayed for it and cried for it. It costs a lot but being like Christ is worth it. The value doesn’t even compare.
My most recent lesson broke me. I entitled this blog “Giving Up My Right to Be Right” because that’s what God was after. My Pastor said that several years ago, and it’s something that stuck with me. He was talking about pride vs. humility. The Bible teaches that one of the earmarks of a believer is that they are humble. They don’t assert their rights over others. It’s the true nature of Christ.
Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.Philippians 2:3-8
This scripture starts by telling us to be humble then goes on to give us the ultimate example of what that looks like. “Have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” It was the mindset that governed all that He did. From coming in the form of a man to giving up His rights and privileges as God to dying for the guilty, He chose the way of self-sacrifice and the way of preferring others.
As people who are inclined to self-preservation, the way of self-sacrifice goes against everything that we know. Our nature grates against it. We want to make sure we are okay. For example, if someone goes to poke your eyes, your reflexes will automatically close your lid to protect it. It’s ingrained in us to think of ourselves and what we want and what we need. Preferring others is none of that.
God used a situation to challenge me in this area of His Word. The Word of God is like a mirror. It has a way of showing you who you really are and showing you areas that you haven’t let God into yet. It calls us to the mat on the things that we value and hold dear.
Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.Romans 12:18
I’m stubborn. I want things to go my way. This sometimes comes at the expense of peace. There are times that I will go out of my way to prove I’m right in an effort to get things to go my way. I mean, I’m right so why would any other viewpoint, or opinion matter? I’M RIGHT! I have the right to think this way, to feel this way, to act this way. I’M RIGHT!
This mindset doesn’t lend itself to a life of peace. And the scripture in Romans says that we, as believers, should do all that we can to live at peace with everyone. It doesn’t provide an out clause that says, “But if you’re right, it’s okay to cause tension and strife.” Nope. It says to do all that you can. And that means giving up your right to be right. (I’m speaking to myself. If you happen to get something out of it, praise God!)
That takes a mindset of humility. That’s having the same attitude that Jesus had. Jesus had every right to invoke His deity and to stop the show at any moment. He could have called 10,000 angels to war on His behalf. He didn’t have to allow the Pharisees to talk to Him like they did. He didn’t have to allow Himself to be beaten and spit on and nailed to the cross. He had the right to call it all off. Yet, He didn’t. He chose the way of humility and peace. He gave up His right to be right.
I’m realizing more and more that peace is my responsibility. It’s not the responsibility of any other party involved, but something that I MUST take on. The good news is that peace is a fruit or byproduct of the Spirit. We don’t have to do this in our own strength. We were given the Holy Spirit to aid us in living in peace with all who we encounter. Whether they bring peace or not.
For me, this means giving up my right to be right. It means relying on the Holy Spirit to produce peace in me that cannot be moved. It means trusting God to cover me and to make up the difference. That even when I’m right, if asserting it means creating stress and tension, that I give it over. It doesn’t make me weak or a doormat or timid, but it actually means I’m walking in the strength and the power of the Spirit. At the end of the day, giving up my right to be right and walking in peace just might be the thing that shows someone else Jesus in such a way that changes their life.
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace.Colossians 3:12-15
Our responsibility is to be walking, talking, living examples of Jesus. Giving up our right to be right and choosing humility and peace exhibits the life, character, and love of God.