Have you ever been around someone who seemed to have a need to always be right? Perhaps you feel that way. I know I did for way too many years. If someone said something I disagreed with, or knew to be wrong, I was always quick to point out their error, or tell them why what they said was incorrect. Unfortunately, for those around me, it was terribly annoying to say the least. My attitude certainly didn’t win me any friends, and often drove my family crazy. In these increasingly dark times we live in, the need to be right has grown by epidemic proportions. It is especially evident in both the news media and the world of social media. Maybe it seems that way because social media relentlessly provides a platform for every thought, word, and deed, both good and bad, of millions of users.
Everyone has a point to prove, an opinion to express, a grievance to air, an offense to take up. Those who believe they are always right do not hold back from sharing it with whomever will listen, and even the ones who couldn’t care less. It is a sign of deep insecurity, pride, and fear. It often becomes a means of controlling those around them, especially when anger is involved. Insecurity causes people to constantly second guess themselves. It is a lie to believe our security comes from our our own ability to know right and wrong. We believe we have to continually justify our actions, opinions, thoughts, etc. If someone dares to question us in these matters, we become defensive and rationalize our decisions. That defensiveness can escalate to the point of anger and even violence, as we see so much in our world today.
Pride refuses to admit when we are wrong, and fear motivates us to hide, or to fight back, to prove to ourselves we are okay. Denial and/or anger become tools by which we control others, hoping they won’t expose us for who we secretly fear we really are. But this is such a miserable existance! I know, because I’ve been there. When God began to open my eyes to the truth and set me free, I found such freedom in letting go of that need to be right. The enemy has so many convinced that if we let go, we will cease to matter, or even exist. Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth.
When we begin to realize, believe, and walk in the security of who we are in Christ, our affirmation and validation come from Him. We no longer need it from people, though it is not wrong when people give it out of a sincere heart. In addition, we will discover the futility and foolishness of having to justify our opinions, thoughts, and actions. Only God is right, one hundred percent of the time. Letting go of the need to be right takes humility, the opposite of pride. It is so freeing to acknowledge your weakness, to admit when you’re wrong, and to give yourself permission to be human – even to fail. These things don’t mean you are a failure. The willingness to face your frailty means you are growing in truth and maturity – and freedom!
Holding onto the need to be right is wrong because it robs you of the freedom of being yourself – warts, wrinkles and all. It will drive you to the point of exhaustion. It will cheat you out of genuine, life-giving relationships by always being guarded, suspicious, and quick to correct. It blinds you to the perspectives and gifts of others, many who are more gifted or talented than you, those you can learn from and value for their unique beauty and creativity. Ultimately, the need to be right steals your life and will leave you full of regret. The old saying, “Hindsight is always 20/20” is true. Take it from one who has been there. Thank God He has given us freedom in and through Christ!