Some thoughts going through my mind over the past few days ...
Christianity can be a real challenge for me, as Jesus calls us to accept our mistakes. Accepting is not the same as excusing, however much the two things may get confused in my head. I am what I do, and I cannot hide from that. But darn ... I really want to be "right." Even more difficult, Jesus asks His followers to admit that we cannot do anything about our mistakes without the loving grace of God.
Grace is a foreign element for people who like to be right, as it means trusting in God instead of in yourself alone. (That’s not easy when you secretly think that God should hand over the managerial duties of the universe to you.) A friend at work (whose name I cannot spell lol) helped me to realise this when he said, “It is more important to be kind than to be right.”
This jolted me. I thought of Jesus’ words: “Seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness.” There is surely a difference between the righteousness that Jesus makes a priority and merely being right, a difference that Paul elaborates on in his first letter to the people of Corinth:
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing…Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Corinthians 13:2, 4-5
Once you know this, it gets easier to be generous with other people and not chalk up their mistakes on some private slate. It ceases to matter whether you were in the wrong or in the right, or possibly a mixture of both. St John of the Cross, a Spanish mystic who suffered imprisonment and persecution for his faith, wrote that, ”In the evening of life we will be judged on our love.” He was drawing on the Bible’s teaching that faith, hope, and love are the only things that will last into eternity, ‘and the greatest of these is love’.
Have a most blessed evening everyone!