Back in the day I was a disciple who was enthusiastic about being right. There’s nothing wrong with being right, but sometimes it shouldn’t be the priority. Sometimes when my wife and I are walking in the city, or in a parking lot, she will say “wait” and hold me back. My response — “I have the right of way”. Her comeback — “Yeah, but you might be dead right”.
Early in my discipleship journey there was this girl (not Connie) who did not have the same theological outlook as I did. She was a believer, but not one who had a “right” theology. I kept pushing her to get “right”. She began to wonder if the relationship was worth it. Eventually we broke up and she left me a tape of her singing a song “just for you”. I don’t remember the title, but the message was in one line — “you’d better change your mind friend, or learn how to lie”.
I wasn’t very accepting. I really didn’t create a space where we could talk and exchange ideas. Her ideas were wrong — I was right — enough said.
When you watch someone catching a football you see an image of this kind of acceptance. It is a “get hold of it and pull it in close” type of catch.
Don’t get me wrong, some things are just right and we can’t compromise on those. Yet we don’t have to make our point at the cost of a relationship. As one preacher puts it — “build bridges rather than make points”.
Romans 15:5-7 New Living Translation (NLT)
5 May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. 6 Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7 Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.
God accepted you when you were “unacceptable”. Are you just as accepting of those you encounter? Jesus came to build bridges — not to prove He was right.
John 3:16-17 New Living Translation (NLT)
16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
We can be right and build bridges. Like Jesus we need to make building bridges the priority. Then we can cross the bridge and show those we encounter the “right” way.