“A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart.” Proverbs 21:2 (NIV)
I think most would agree that it feels good to be right. There is nothing more frustrating than being in a situation or conversation when we know something to be true and someone is trying to disprove it, either with confusion, arrogance or what feels like just plain stubbornness. But even when I had gotten validation from someone admitting that they were wrong and I was indeed right, the gratifying feelings I expected, instead turned to uncertainty. Had my approach been too harsh? Why was I left with unresolved feelings? My lack of answers led me to the one who knows all, so the final question I asked myself was, “What would God want me to do?”
It wasn’t until I took a step back at the situation and prayed for His guidance, that I got my answer. I came across this verse I desperately needed to hear, “A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart.” (Proverbs 21:2)
Being right can come with a price depending on how we pursue it, and sometimes I’m not sure it’s worth the cost. Being righteous on the other hand is a free gift that I sometimes misplace with my hurt feelings.
In this verse, I am reminded that I need to seek God in those times when I feel compelled to hang on to a situation that I am unsatisfied with until I receive the testimony I want to hear. Focusing on what I wanted, caused me to take my eyes off of what God wanted. Feeding my pride and ego isn’t something that honors Him, even if I am right. We all feel strongly to our opinions but it’s God’s opinion of me that matters more. He is the Maker and Judge, not me.
Re-evaluating those kinds of situations helps me to see the bigger picture. If I just focus on my worldly responses to difficult people, I will fall short every time. Relationships can be ruined in the process of always wanting or needing to be right. It was then I had to decide if being right is more important than being righteous.
Righteousness still seeks the truth but it does it in an honorable way. It extends goodness and dignity in the process. I can’t control why other people say and do the things they do, but I can control what I say and do. Hanging on to my hurts and frustrations, even if they feel justified, isn’t trusting God to handle the situation. However, learning to pause and wait on my words and reactions, and wait for His guidance, always has a better outcome, even if it initially feels less gratifying.
Sometimes I have to agree to disagree, even if it feels like I am allowing someone else to win. Being righteous is willing to trust Him in all things first and handle difficult situations in a godlike manner. Letting go of those unyielding behaviors on my part was freeing and has allowed me to grow. Deciding to not confront someone doesn’t make us weaker but rather stronger. God knows my heart and that is where my trust and faith lies. Knowing that I can always count on Him is what allows me to let things go and know that He’s got it covered.
I learned that even when faced with the toughest person I have to pause and pray first. It is only then that I can ask myself, “Is it more important that I am seen by many as right, or the One, as righteous?”
Dear Lord, forgive me for letting my pride hinder the righteousness you would have me seek. Give me the guidance that I need when dealing with difficult people and situations, and help me pause and turn to you rather than turn on others. Help remove my self-righteous nature and replace it with the righteousness only found in You. Thank You Lord for the grace you continue to show me and forgiving me when I fall short. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.