Have you ever known, just known, in the very depths of your soul that you are right? That your stance is the correct one, the moral one, the righteous one? Have you ever experienced utter befuddlement that those closest to you just don’t get it?
This sensation has consumed me for quite some time. I have seen relationships damaged deeply, I have seen love tarnished and jaded, and I have witnessed rejection and hurt. There is no way I am wrong. I know I am right.
Or am I?
I begin to wonder if I am too close to the situation to fully grasp all the ins and outs. But on the other hand, perhaps so is everyone else. I refuse to allow anyone else the same luxury of righteous indignation that I have granted myself. You cannot have both parties in opposition to each other and both of them be right! Can you?
I see no clear answer to that conundrum and I worry about the outcome. But the issue is so complex that even resolution of this aspect leaves many unanswered questions, many hurts to be addressed, and conversations I really would rather never have.
Can’t we all just get along?
I am told that love and concern are integral to the opposite side of my barrier fence. I have been told that others want the best resolution. But it is so hard to accept that. To swallow my pride and admit it might be true.
There is a trite saying that swept the Christian world like wildfire for several years: WWJD. What would Jesus do? It was printed on t-shirts, jewelry, artwork, bible covers, stationary, and gum, mints and candy! I always wanted to say in response: Well, for starters, I highly doubt Jesus would chew gum and say “Aha! Who’s ready for wine?”
But putting commercialism aside, it begs a difficult question. What would Jesus do in this instance? How would he respond? If my purpose in life as a Christian is to become as Christ-like as possible, then I should be asking myself this question every single day. But I don’t. Partly because I just don’t think about it. But perhaps more importantly, because I don’t want to know the answer.
Jesus might say, “Lynette, you need to swallow your pride, get off your high horse, step down from your soap box, and walk a few feet in someone else’s shoes. Then ask that question again.”
The thing is, I really don’t like the taste of my pride. It is bitter and disgusting. My horse is about 24 hands high and if I try to hop down, I might just break one of my aging, potentially brittle bones. And what in the world is a soap box? I guess it implies standing above others, lording over the lesser masses that my opinion is the only opinion. And yes, you may all kiss my hand now in grateful adoration for bestowing said opinion upon you.
When I step back, it is truly a bitter pill to swallow: forgiveness is really hard to do. Asking for forgiveness is even harder. My stance might be the correct one. The opposite side might be the correct one. Most likely, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
I wonder if that is why God created compromise: to force people to step away from their staunchly protected fortress and step into neutral territory. If I leave my weapons on my side of the fence, and, hopefully, the others will do the same, we might find some common ground in between. And there might just be room for all of us to stand. Together.
I looked up the etymology of the word righteous. It stems from an Old English phrase that literally meant “right” and “wise; having wisdom; prudent,” or “wise ways.”
Wise ways. Which way will I go?
My way? Or the wise, right way?