You can catch more flies with sugar than you can with salt. That is one of my wife’s favorites. She says that I use a lot of salt when I should be using sugar. I don’t understand her obsession with catching flies but I know that there are certainly other odors flies like more than salt or sugar. That being said, I use a lot of Self-Righteous scents. I smell malodorous when using Self-Righteousness.
I have learned that at 66 years of life 42 years of marriage and 41 years of being a father 18 years of being a grandfather that being right is very often the worst thing I can do.
God is not asking me to be right. He doesn’t expect that either. What he does is command and expect that I be righteous, and that righteousness is from Him. This is not self righteousness. This is His righteousness. The problem with being right is that I attribute the integrity of my righteousness to myself.
My wife also reminds me that the most intolerable person is a converted sinner.That is once the Holy Spirit has convicted me of some evil in my life I am quick to judge condemn and if allowed even execute someone who has done the same thing for which God has granted me mercy. Being married gives a lot of invaluable, unasked for, unsolicited, life lessons.
Being right can be very wrong. That happens when I choose to assert my integrity as though it is God’s integrity. I choose to assert my passionate defense of moral righteousness as though the All Mighty had empowered me to do so. God can best defend His reputation when I am out of the way. When I don’t get so ‘high and mighty’ I can allow Him to show Himself.
Easy lessons here.
1) Never speak in your own defense. It only worsens matters when you try to explain why you are right and they are wrong.
2) Let your integrity be from God and your reputation will speak on your behalf. To do otherwise is to allow pride to overshadow grace.
3) Stop taking credit. Anything good that I have done is because the Holy Spirit has led me to do so. Left to my own devices, I would do a the selfish thing.
4) Let God have the glory.. That selfish thing is to dwell and admire my own reputation rather than the glory of my Creator.
Jesus the Christ was very careful not to fall into this trap. He recognized that in his flesh he had no power to condemn to curse to send to eternal damnation. He left all of these final decisions to his Father.
Don’t try to be good. Let the Holy Spirit do good through you. Let Him have the glory. That way when people question your integrity you do not have to defend yourself. You certainly don’t have to defend God. He can do that himself. Being right is a dangerous trap. It allows us to look at those who very well may be wrong but deserve the mercy that God Has shown us. Being right is wrong when it allows me to do or think or consider evil towards those whom in my estimation are doing wrong.
Don’t be right. Be righteous in His eyes. I am not called to accuse, judge, condemn or execute. I am called to love.
James 1:20 my beloved brothers, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and every expression of evil, and humbly accept the word planted in you
John 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.
James 4:12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?