On Being Right: 5 Points

Right is something I have been for quite some time. As I have often told my wife, “Hey, even when I’m wrong, I’m right.” When you’ve got it, you’ve got it.

I say this mostly in jest, however. I have learned a thing or two about being right.

1) If you would like to be right, base your conclusions on facts, not on emotions, hope, half-baked knowledge, or what someone else said. Do the work. Research something before having an opinion. Look up original sources all the time. Don’t quote people, because more than likely the person who told you the quote attributed it to the wrong person. Look up quotes before quoting the quote! Especially true in regard to Scripture references. One way to increase your odds of being right is to know you are right before saying anything. If you don’t know what you’re talking about: CEASE TALKING.

2) Being right is deceptive. Truth is somewhat subjective. Everything is good in its season. Knowing when that season is can be tough. It might be right to go to war now, it might not be. It’s easy to charge politicians for  “flip-flopping” when the war they were for they are no longer for after they were for it. Things change. Give people a break, you change your mind too. Don’t be stuck on your one way of doing things in all situations. Consistency is often a sign of people who are wrong half the time.

3) Being wrong isn’t all that bad. Many have a fear of being wrong, so then they make stuff up, call people names, and use other forms of misdirection. Usually, those who fear being wrong, just end up being more wrong by defending their initial small portion of wrong. It has never hurt anyone to admit they were wrong. Being right isn’t all that big of a deal. Lighten up.

4) Feeling right might be the biggest indicator you are wrong. Many of the times I have felt the most right about something have been the times I was the most wrong. We give ourselves the benefit of the doubt more than we give it to anyone else. We color our opinion of our opinions quite favorably. Some of my most confident moments have been followed by most humiliating defeats. I think that’s in the Bible, but I could be wrong. Look it up!

5) Don’t put money on it. It’s one thing to have an opinion; it’s another thing to have actual lives at stake, to have an actual cost for being wrong. Don’t voluntarily put your opinion in a position to lose actual, real stuff. UNLESS you have totally done the work and know for a fact you are right and are talking to a moron. Decisions matter. Take them seriously, and fight the urge to make unimportant decision overly important.

Jesus spent His whole life talking to people who were wrong. He was gracious with them, usually. The people He was most irritated with were the ones who knew they were right and mocked others. Knowledge puffs up. The best reason to be wrong is to increase your humility.

Being right can be the worst possible position for you to be in. Lose your fear of being wrong. Be humble. Learn. Grow. Listen. Forgive. Lighten up.

You never know, once you admit you might be wrong, you may actually learn something.

God will let you know in the end who was really right and wrong. Until then, judge not lest you be judged, for the standard you use to judge others will be used on you.

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