Do you want to be right or be loved?
I have always struggled with the phrase, “do you want to be right, or do you want to be loved?” The simple message is, would you rather argue a point to win the argument and be found right at the cost of the relationship, or would you rather accept being wrong and perhaps have a more loving and stable relationship? A difficult choice for many, confusing even.
Is the only way to be loved by being wrong all the time? If you are right, does that mean you are not loved? Very confusing. Especially when you take the idea outside of an intimate relationship and place it in the context of an interpersonal relationship. Even more so when you are discussing the Bible.
So many people would rather argue a point, any point, any line of scripture, trying to prove themselves right, and lose a relationship with the person they are witnessing to or sharing with, than to admit wrong. It’s no wonder sometimes why Christians have fractured relationships with both the saved and unsaved. Many would rather be right, even if it costs them the relationship, as opposed to share the love of Christ.
Think of the classic verses found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7-4 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
We can argue scripture all day with people. We can pull doctrine to prove we are right about a passage or teaching or parable. And none of that has to do with loving somebody. When somebody disagrees with you, love them. Be patient. When you discuss scripture, do so with love. Be kind. Be the embodiment of love. Don’t envy when somebody is right and you are not. Do not boast when you are right and another is wrong. Put pride aside. Don’t dishonor others with your words. Keep your temper in check and don’t hold grudges over “rights and wrongs.”
Rejoice in that which is true, shun evil, and know that God’s love in you and of you, protects you, gives you hope and is everlasting.
I think most people would rather be loved. The world is in need of more love. Sometimes you may be right and sometimes you may be wrong, but you can always love.
It doesn’t make you weak to admit wrong. It doesn’t make you a hero to brag about being right. But to love as Christ has loved you (and me) is to honor him and our call as Christians. I think you will find that more people are won to Christ through love than they are through arguing over right and wrong.
REV. BARRY VASSAR is pastor at Fitzgerald Memorial Baptist. He can be reached at email@example.com.