Tag Archives: righteousness

I Don’t Need to be ‘Right…’

Wisdom begins with respect for the Lord,
and understanding begins with knowing the Holy One.
Proverbs 9:10 (NCV)

     My dad’s German/Irish family was big and boisterous. They argued about everything! Their banter was usually good-natured, but skirmishes to prove who was right were ongoing.

     My Scandinavian maternal family wasn’t nearly as noisy, but they were masterful with non-verbal cues implying, “I’m right!”

     Then, there was my faith community. “Being right” often began with the words, “Good Christians don’t…”

     I‘m not sure exactly how it happened, but one day not all that long ago, I had this clear awareness of what a high value I placed on ‘being right.’ Immediately following that realization, I sensed the ‘still small voice’ whisper into my spirit, “It’s okay. YOU don’t NEED to be right!”

     Oh, Lord, show me how to change my endeavor to be right!

     I haven’t won the ‘I-need-to-be-right’ battle, but I’m making progress. Six steps help:


  1. Focus on the rightness of God’s character. Trust God is like the good shepherd who will lead me onto ‘right’ paths.[1]
  2. Follow the Apostle Paul’s suggestion: …in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests, but…to the interest of others…[2] As I become more aware of God’s image (Imago Dei) within every person, I’m more apt to act in this way.
  3. Identify my core values. Evaluate whether there’s congruence between my values and actual behaviors.
  4. Learn more about my personality with its inherent strengths and weaknesses. Again, Paul’s advice is a great reminder: … think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.[3]
  5. Thank God when I recognize personal growth. Acknowledge lapses. Ask forgiveness. Seek God’s help to change.
  6. Accept God’s grace. Extend grace to others and myself.

     Journeys of faith involve spiritual discoveries. Many will demand a personal decision. Will I choose to stay stuck in family or faith traditions? Will I succumb to my own personality? Or, will I listen to the whisper of God’s Spirit suggesting a different way, and choose to trust that God leads me on paths that are right for the good of his name. (Psalm 23:3 NCV)?

Consider & Imagine:

  • Consider a scenario in which you may typically feel the need to be ‘right—’ perhaps, a discussion about a family dynamic, public figure, faith, current event or workplace issue.
  • Imagine choosing to set aside your need to be ‘right.’ What would be different about the way you communicate? How do you think you might feel about yourself? How do you think the response of others toward you might be different? What do you think God might say to you about your choice?

Prayer:

Gracious God,

Thank you for reminding me it’s not so important that I be ‘right.’ Teach me how to relinquish my need to be ‘right,’ and instead, lean into your righteousness.
     ~Amen

Blessings to each of us as we explore our need to feel we’re ‘right…’

Sue Reeve

  1. Psalms 23:3
  2. Philippians 2:3 & 4
  3. Romans 12:3

Grace Speaks…

Asking, “May I Guide You? …”

     I have a terrible sense of direction!

     Once while staying at a motel, my husband said as we left our room, “I watch which way you turn and know to go the opposite direction!”

     I’m sure you can imagine, GPS (Global Positioning System) is a very good friend of mine!

     In my spiritual journey, scripture is my GPS—God’s Positioning System.

     One of the times I rely on scripture is during nighttime hours when sleep eludes me. As I meditate on a verse or passage from the Bible, I am often led back into slumber. One of my favorite sleepless-night meditations is Psalms 23. My favorite Bible version for this beloved psalm remains the King James, which I memorized in Sunday school as a little girl.

     Not so very long ago, during one of ‘those’ nights, a single line felt particularly personal—a place God invited me to pause and ponder:

…he leadeth me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. (Psalms 23:3b)

     Losing my way while driving or walking because I’m directionally challenged has created some stress-filled moments. I admit some of my problems may have been minimized if I had only taken time beforehand to more carefully think about and study the correct route—or, even turn on the GPS!

     Losing my way spiritually has also created stress. I know beyond any doubt, some of my problems in life can be averted if I more wisely consider before moving ahead, determined to go ‘my way’ rather than ‘God’s way.’

     One brief line from Psalms 23 assures me, however, that despite my inability, ignorance, or willfulness, The Good Shepherd cares so greatly about my journey that he will continue to lead me onto right paths. I am his child, and for his name’s sake, God cares about the direction I take, even as I care about the direction one of my children or grandchildren takes.

     I may lose my way, but the Good Shepherd won’t give up on me. He may allow me to take more detours than necessary, or even take multiple laps around the desert, but “for his name’s sake,” when I seek and desire his will and way, I will be guided back in the right direction.

     I have no idea where most Listening on the Journey… readers are in their faith journey. I don’t need to know because as I conclude these words, I believe with my entire soul that

     God knows you;

          God cares about the path you’re on;

               God cherishes you;

                    God’s ways are good;

                         God desires to lead you in “paths of righteousness.”

Blessings on your journey…

Sue Reeve