The Burden of Being Right

“So if you think that you are standing firm, be careful that you don?t fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12).
Some of you who are more, well, mature, will recall the grating voice of sports commentator Howard Cosell. Pompous, arrogant, know-it-all were among the kinder terms that were used to describe him. Here is another term. Invariably, annoyingly right. And perhaps that was the reason we disliked him most!
If I may say this with fear and trembling, The Churches of Christ are right. We are right to call ourselves by Bible names, right to call believers back to the Bible, right to demand a Bible verse for every teaching and practice. I would not want to be a part of a fellowship that stands for anything less.
But being “right” carries responsibilities, too.
If we’re right, we must also be humble. We cannot successfully search the AScriptures for God’s will unless we understand that we must continue to learn, continue to grow. Proud people risk a fall, but one thing they never do is risk learning more and growing (Proverbs 16:18)!
If we’re right, we also must be loving. We cannot make the mistake of “winning the debate, and losing the soul.”
If we?re right, we must also be merciful. When people sin, we need to lovingly call them back to God, and when they answer that call, we must gently restore them (Galatians 6:1). We might also remember that there will be times when we need to be given mercy.
If we?re right, we must also be patient. When we correct and rebuke (2 Timothy 4:2), we should remember that it took some time for us to arrive at our insights into God’s word, too.
Jesus was right – lovingly right, gently right, humbly right. He had all the answers without being a know-it-all. That?s not the only difference between Mr Cosell and the Lord, but it’s a big one!


Being right brings responsibilities. We must be more than right.

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Stan Mitchell

Stan has preached since 1976, in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He serves as preacher for the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He is currently Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He is married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He is the author of four books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs, Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song, and Equipping the Saints for Ministry. He has recently published another book, "Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation.

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One thought on “The Burden of Being Right

  1. I believe that you covered the subject of being right, the right way.
    I have had difficulties dealing with those whom I have considered arrogant.
    In the years past and even now I hear the arrogance that some of our brothers have.
    Whenever I run into one with this attitude I turn off them off, and don’t really listen.
    Why would I believe anyone out side of the church would listen to some arrogant preacher, or brother.
    Our attitude to save a lost and dying world, must include humility.
    Matt. 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit…”

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