It shouldn’t bedazzle us
that people turn against those who were once friends. A spirit of rightness
rises in both. I know that spirit of rightness is alive in me also.
But the spirit of
rightness gets us nowhere in a life where we’re not only dependent on God for
success, but others too. It is a harmful ignorance that says, ‘damn them’, for
we’re dependent not only on God, but on ‘them’ too for peace.
This spirit of rightness
is a spirit of wrongness draped like sheep’s clothing around a wolf’s frame. We
all have not only the capacity for it, but tragically, the tendency toward
The spirit of wrongness
is inherent in the spirit of any wrong person concealing that wrong in their
person — being dishonest — and we’re all wrong persons. What hope do we have but
God? The spirit of wrongness prevails in a person pretending to be right, which is rightness that can only exist in
their own mind or in the minds of those on their side. Ask the other side what
is right, and the spirit of wrongness is exposed. But ask this other side for
their view and they, too, will vouch for how right they are.
Where both people are
right, strap yourself in for a fight.
Nothing is moving.
No frustrations are eased.
Both are confounded.
Nobody can find peace.
And the enemy wins…
One or both are hurt,
obviously. Each feel misunderstood, betrayed, assaulted. Can it all be true? It feels true. But is there
something each party can own as wrongdoing they can be remorseful for?
Reserve the right to be
wrong, and be wrong, for only then are we truly being honest. Nobody can think
they’re right in a relational conflict and hope for peace, as if the other
person is going to do the moving. That’s the height of fantasy.
Where parties in conflict
both see their own wrong,
where their desire is matched in seeking to set it straight,
reconciliation has a hope that is strong,
and God’s will can be seen done in a fashion not too late.
Central to our
belief in Jesus is knowing we’re sinners, that we do wrong; knowing and
admitting the wrong we do every day, including the relational impasses where we,
ourselves, are offenders.
The moment we see our
offense and stop focusing on theirs is the moment where hope rises for
Forgiveness enfolds God’s
hope for a relational miracle, yet forgiveness isn’t possible unless we shift
the focus off the other person’s fault. For us, it’s not about what they did
wrong; it’s about us and what we could’ve done better or shouldn’t have done.
Forgiveness is possible
only when there is admission and acceptance of wrongdoing, where one is
contrite and the other understands and is merciful. It is beautiful when forgiveness
is sought and given.