Being Wrong When You Are Right
Sometimes when you are right, you’re wrong.
It feels good when you know you are totally, undeniably right when heading into a confrontation with someone. You know you were wronged and you know that you can prove it without even a hint of doubt. Before you barge in like a scene from a movie ready to be your own hero, consider that while your case is airtight, your approach may not be.
There is more at stake in any argument than just being right or wrong; there is the relationship. Without the relationship this person’s offense might not have even matter in the first place and been dismissed as the other person’s ignorance. We are typically more offended by people we expect not to offend us because of our relationship with them. If that relationship and the restoration of that relationship matters to you at all then make sure your approach is also right.
Over the weekend, I was upset at something the coach had done to my daughter. It wasn’t a terrible thing but it was certainly unfair. I was tempted to a.) complain to the other parents and b.) let the coach know my frustration while I was still pretty angry. I’d like to report that in this particular incident I did neither. Look at that! I’m acting all adult-like! Instead, I sent her a text that shared my concern briefly (because wondering what someone wants to talk about is stressful) and asked when would be a good time to discuss the matter. She responded politely and we set up a time to talk—which we did a couple days later and it went great.
The relationship mattered and news flash: It Always Matters. “As far as it concerns you, live at peace with one another.” Romans 12:18. (While this verses is speaking to, how Christians should treat one another, there are other verses that talk about how we should also do this for everyone. I just appreciate how succinctly its stated in Romans.) If I had undermined my relationship with the coach it would affect my daughter, which would in turn effect her ability to grow and learn in the sport. It would have caused tension and stress at every subsequent interaction.
There is something beautiful about resolution in that when it’s done God’s way you can truly leave it behind you and move forward. Surprisingly that includes when the other party doesn’t care to reconcile, because God gives you a sense of peace for your effort to do things the right way.
The Bible says in Matthew that, “if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.” What is the most wonderful outcome to a confrontation? Its not going to be you being more right than the other person; its going to be the complete restoration of the relationship.