Featured Post

Why Political Speech Is Inappropriate from the Pulpit!

For years now, I have been criticizing the preaching of politics from the pulpit. Why? What's so wrong with talking about issues and can...

Saturday, June 22, 2024

I'm Right. You're Wrong. Any Questions?

The title of this post was printed on a T-shirt that I received as a gift from a family member many years ago, and it reminds me of a younger, very opinionated, and self-righteous version of myself. It also reminds me how time and more information impact different people differently. The same family member who gifted me that shirt is now more conservative and self-righteous than I was back then!

It also reminds me of the Miss Trunchbull character in Matilda by Roald Dahl: "I’m right and you’re wrong, I’m big and you’re small, and there’s nothing you can do about it." That quote from the headmistress underscores the very negative consequences of that outlook when someone who holds that view assumes a position of authority - especially in the religious realm.

Of course, we all should know that things like arrogance, self-righteousness, and the uninformed acceptance of anything is NOT scriptural. In the eleventh chapter of the book of Probers, we read: "When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom" (verse 2, ESV), and "Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety" (verse 14). Likewise, according to the Gospel of Luke, Jesus once told his disciples that "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves." (11:25-26, ESV) And, the book of Acts informs us that (when Paul and Silas left Thessalonica and spoke to the disciples at Berea) the "Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so." (Acts 17:11, ESV) Did you catch that? They didn't just accept it because Paul and Silas preached it - they checked the book from which they were quoting for themselves!

Hence, the "I'm right - You're wrong" approach is inconsistent with what God expects of his people. It may be extremely self-satisfying to indulge such feelings, but it is clearly contrary to God's expectation that we "grow in grace and knowledge." (II Peter 3:18) This requires personal effort, investigation, and objectivity. In questions relating to religious observances, Paul wrote to the saints at Rome that "Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind." (Romans 14:5, ESV) In other words, you can't rely on what others know (or think they know). Each and every one of us has the responsibility to investigate and evaluate what we are given by others!


  1. Amen!
    Add me to the list of guilty. I was the youngest and was always being told how wrong I was, so I set out to be right. Had quite the chip on my shoulder for many years. One of the most exhilarating days of my life was when I found out how wrong I'd been about Armstrongism. Never was so happy before to be so very wrong.

  2. Yes, exhilarating is a good word to describe that feeling. It was an epiphany - a moment of clarity about the greatness of God and my own limitations!