How can we be sure we’re right?
I mean – if I perceived something one way, and someone perceives it another – who is right? Or if I think something should be done one way and someone else thinks it should be done another – who is right? Like do you wake the sleeping baby to feed him, or do you never wake a sleeping baby? Or there is always the age old over/under debate! Who is right?
Now granted, the Lord had some things to say to Job – four chapters worth! And Job had some repenting to do (Job 42:1-6). But the Lord affirms that Job was right. The Lord says to the three friends about Job,
“I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.” ~ Job 42:7
We covered the three friends‘ being really wrong last post. So let’s focus on Job – he was actually right! Because why?
Because the Lord says so? Well yes, that is a fine answer. God says it so we believe it! But in a similar three-friend-like situation, how would I know if I am right? After all, I’m not in the Bible – I don’t have any inerrant Word of God written about me!
Let’s try the same answer from a different angle. Job isn’t right simply because Job is right – Job didn’t come up with some random things and then God decreed that Job’s thoughts are right and the friends are wrong. Job is right because the things he said agreed with God.
That’s what makes a person right.
When they agree with God.
Because God is always right.
It’s a bit Lincoln-esque:
“Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.”
If our thoughts for sure don’t agree with God, then of course we’re for sure not right. While the extreme is obvious, the middle ground is important to remember: if we’re not sure if our thoughts agree with God, then we may not right.
This applies to so many things! My perception of another person – if it doesn’t align with what God knows of them and their heart, then I’m not right. The tone with which I think a person wrote an e-mail – if it doesn’t align with what God knows of them and their heart, then I’m not right. How I think a person should have responded – if it doesn’t algin with what God knows of them and their heart, then I’m not right. The decision I think a person should make about a non-sin issue – if it doesn’t align with God’s plan for them, then I’m not right.
So how do I know?
How do I know if my thoughts about another person align with God’s?
How do I know if I’m right?
Just a warning here that you may not like this answer. I mean, how could we possibly know what God wants for them? If it’s in Scripture, we totally in love and with care share with them our understanding of what the Lord desires. But if it’s not in Scripture, how do I know if what I think aligns with God? How do I know if I’m right?
The answer? I don’t.
I don’t know if I’m right.
And to pretend like I do? Well, to Job’s friends, the Lord called that ‘folly.’
My heart? My motives? My tone? My decision about a non-sin issue? I’m not that old! They aren’t in Scripture!
So unless it’s in Scripture, we best not act like we’re right.
(More specifics on How to be Right next post!)