All Right All Right All Right

If your right eye causes you to stumble,
gouge it out and throw it away. 

Matthew 5:29

I’ve discovered something, and I think it’s a big deal.

Almost always, I’m right. I’m right! Using my best judgment and trying to be objective, it appears to me that I’m right, about almost everything!

I look at our political landscape. Folks to the left of me, and folks to the right of me. People with such strong opinions. And then I look at my take on things. It seems to me, that I’m right. Where I stand on a whole host of issues appears to be the most logical, balanced, and sensible. Amazingly, when it comes to politics, I’m right.

I get in debates with my friends. We discuss current events, ideas about philosophy, art, 80’s music and Marvel movies. Sometimes they have good points, a helpful take now and then, but crazy as it sounds, as far as I can tell, my view on these things is the right one.

I go to church. I post on religion message boards. I talk with other clergy from other denominations. I even hash it out with the occasional atheist. I bet you know where this is going. Typically, I’m right! My position is almost always right. Oh, and I’m pretty sure God agrees with me.

Just like Matthew McConaughey’s trademark line, I’m all right all right all right.

Isn’t that kind of strange? That, at least as far as I can tell, my point of view or perspective is the correct one? Do you have this fascinating situation as well? Think about it — as you think about your political, social, religious, or anything else views, don’t you pretty much think you’re right about them?

How amazing for you. And for me. Out of all the different ways of thinking in this world, God has blessed you with being right. And I don’t even mean you necessarily lord it over other people or act like a jerk or try to impose your views on everybody. It just sort of synchs up: If you weren’t right, after all, why would you continue to think that way!

No, I’m not a narcissist or a sociopath. I don’t really think I’m right all the time, but this is something that I reflect on frequently. At my heart, a lot of the time, I have this assumption that MY assumptions are the right ones. I look at the world through my eyes, and my eyes see the world my way! And, perhaps this is another assumption, but I’m guessing many of you do the same thing. After all, it wouldn’t be helpful to go through life thinking your were wrong about everything, would it?

The alternative is for us to try to be open. Open to debate. Open to other ideas. Open to change, even changing my long-held views.

I’m not very good at it.

Then I think about Jesus saying, “If your RIGHT eye offends you, toss it away. It’s not helping you.” He was talking about sin, about corrupting your insides. Maybe this is exactly the kind of thing he was talking about. If you go through life with an underlying assumption that you’re All Right All Right All Right, you are corrupting your connection with God and your neighbor.

I think it’s okay, even healthy to stand firm in your beliefs, to come to some conclusions about how things are in the world and to make a strong case for them. But it would be arrogance to assert that everything you think is the right thing. Chances are, you’re wrong about a few things. Even deeply held ideas. That goes for me too.

Painful as it might be to revisit your opinions and be open to new ideas, it’s probably less painful than having to cut out one of your eyes for thinking you’re unfailingly right all the time!

Believing you’ve got it all figured out may feel “All Right” sometimes, but in reality, it’s a distortion of the Truth that can only come from faithfully trying to see things through God’s eyes.

Honestly? Any other way of living will likely leave you…

Dazed and Confused.

Have a great week,