Patterns matter in our lives. People can notice them in our lives, but often we can miss their subtlety in our lives. A few months ago, I had to come face to face with a pattern of my life. Trusted friends brought to my attention the need to be right.
Rightness would trump understanding and empathy. A few conflicts and disagreements took place in my life. The pattern began to start. Rather than moving towards the other person attempting to see their perspective, I stubbornly saw the situation out of my rightness.
In our relationships, we ask people to move towards us without ever taking the effort to go towards them.
When being right becomes a pattern, we want to tell people like it is without any regard to grace. You and I can practice our venting session to them. At the end of the day, it reeks of our own pride. Keeping the focus on the other person releases us from seeing our part. I can remain in the clear without taking any responsibility.
Proverbs 21:2 calls us to evaluate rightness, “A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart.”
Pride locks us on the faults of another. Empathy moves us to one another. Recording wrongs makes a never-ending tally. Compassion looks at people as Christ sees them.
Releasing our need for rightness allows us to experience the Gospel. It reveals our need for Christ’s grace while also extending it to others. It moves us from making situations transactional to identifying the pain in someone else. It motivates us to seek reconciliation rather than winning the argument.
I had to come to grips with my pattern of being right. I had to ask God for help to understand the other person. In doing so, I began to see how God was changing my heart and making me realize the blindspot I could not see. Gracious people spoke the truth in love to me.
What would happen if you released your need to be right? How would you experience Christ’s grace? How might it help you in your relationships?
Photo credit by Sérgio Rola.