BEING RIGHT: The Need to Prove Your Point (Part 1 of 2)
Pastor Thomas Johnston
[Christian Boot Camp (CBC) is a series of teachings on topics (which CBC refers to as Belief Deceptions) that cripple people and churches, such as pride, offense, anger, fear, self-righteousness, denial, blame-shifting, enabling and victim mentality, just to name a few. These teachings—complete with accompanying slides, handouts, and other collaterals—can help your church get on the road to total health. The following article is a very short excerpt of the CBC teaching on the subject of BEING RIGHT. Contact Innovative Church & Worship Consulting for more details.]
Have you ever found yourself arguing a point just to prove that you were right and the other person was wrong? Chances are, if you’re human, you answered, “Yes.” It’s an easy predicament to get into, and one that most of us fall into more than we’d like to admit.
Christian Boot Camp defines BEING RIGHT as:
When someone’s opinions don’t line up with mine, I refuse to back down. If we can’t come to terms on the matter, I’ll resort to interrupting and dominating the conversation and unleashing a barrage of my “facts.” If we’re still unable to come to terms, I have no problem severing the relationship (indefinitely, or until I feel they’ve been adequately punished) and moving forward with enablers who don’t resist my wisdom and have no problem submitting to my way of thinking.
Did Jesus Address BEING RIGHT?
In Luke 13, Jesus was teaching in a synagogue and saw a woman who had been crippled by an evil spirit; she had been bent over double for eighteen years. Jesus compassionately said, “Dear woman, you are healed of your sickness,” and instantly she could stand straight! But the leader in charge of the synagogue was angry that Jesus had healed her on the Sabbath, saying to the crowds, “There are six days of the week for working. Come on those days to be healed, not on the Sabbath.” Jesus replied, “You hypocrites! Each of you works on the Sabbath! Don’t you untie your ox or donkey from its stall on the Sabbath and lead it out for water? This dear woman (note, not a donkey), has been held in bondage by satan for eighteen years. Isn’t it right that she be released, even on the Sabbath?”
So, while it seemingly may have been “right” that folks not work on the Sabbath (at least according to their tradition), Jesus trumped their interpretation of BEING RIGHT by clearly defining what “right” actually meant. He also said:
“The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses. So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach. They crush people with unbearable demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden. Everything they do is for show.”
One of the problems with BEING RIGHT is that it always says two things: “I’m right” and “You’re wrong.” Needing to be right exposes these six attributes:
“BEING RIGHT Gives Me a Great Feeling!”
Ahh…how true this statement is. BEING RIGHT literally—physically—does give us a great feeling. In her article, Your Brain is Hooked on Being Right, Judith E. Glaser explains, “When you argue and win, your brain floods with different hormones: Adrenaline and Dopamine, which makes you feel good, dominant, even invincible. So, the next time we’re in a tense situation, we fight again. We get addicted to BEING RIGHT. I’ve coached dozens of incredibly successful leaders who suffer from this addiction. They are extremely good at fighting for their point of view (which is indeed often right), yet they are completely unaware of the dampening impact that behavior has on the people around them. If one person is getting high off his or her dominance, others are being drummed into submission, experiencing the fight, flight, freeze or appease response, which diminishes their collaborative impulses. Luckily, there’s another hormone that can feel just as good as adrenaline: Oxytocin. It’s activated by human connection and it opens up the networks in our executive brain, or prefrontal cortex, further increasing our ability to trust and open ourselves to sharing.”
What Fuels BEING RIGHT?
So, what are the contributors to BEING RIGHT? These seven things:
- A Fragile Ego.
- Pack Mentality (seeking like-minded alliances)
- Too much time alone.
- A Weak Prayer Life.
- Non-Conformance to the Word.
- Enablers (people who always side with your point of view).
How God Wants Us to Respond
We always have to keep on the forefront of our minds that Jesus rewrote the ten commandments, summing them up with just two: (1) Love God, and (2) Love People. With this in mind, if you’re not sure if your desire to be right is motivated by love or selfish ambition, ask yourself these three questions:
- Is BEING RIGHT on this crucial to achieving my God-given work or mission?
- Will BEING RIGHT help me show love to those I influence, encouraging them to grow?
- Does this issue have any eternal significance?
So, the next time you’re in a disagreement and you feel your hormones migrating toward — and wanting to engage in BEING RIGHT, we have to remember that the relationship is always more important than BEING RIGHT. Our christian witness depends on it.
(Be sure to catch Part 2 of BEING RIGHT: The Need to Prove Your Point)
To Get More Information on the Christian Boot Camp Curriculum, Contact ICWC today…
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