Several years ago I was speaking with a dear friend, an airline pilot who is truly a brilliant man and manifestly loves the Lord. As we were discussing a particular topic, we found ourselves on two different sides of an issue. As men do, we bantered the issue back and forth. Then my friend stopped and said in effect, “John, it’s not a matter of who’s right, but what’s right. Whatever is right, that’s what we both want, right?” I’ve never forgotten his statement. He loved truth and was determined not to let pride interfere with siding with truth.
Often in the issues of the day, if we’re not careful, we get embroiled in a debate. We let pride obscure our view to see the real truth of the matter. But if our desire is truth, we must be willing to side with truth once we see it as such and not just defend where we started—just because we began there.
Sometimes, because we initially viewed a matter a certain way, we dig in and keep defending that position, even if it really is not the right position. This is just pride. We don’t like admitting we didn’t get it right initially. So we stubbornly hang on to whatever position we first espoused, even if down deep we begin to see the value of another perspective. As I look back over my life I’m embarrassed about the times I’ve done this.
On other occasions we may side with Dr. So-and-so or with a certain organization just because we see ourselves on their side of the fence in other matters. While we ought to respect and love the So-and-so’s and the institutions God has brought into our lives, we must also recognize that humanity is human and quite capable of getting something wrong.
The issue is truth. It is truth that makes free. Truth is always right even if we didn’t see it first. When what’s right differs from who’s right, we must side with what’s right. If you do become convinced that another position is really what’s right, then a little humility forwards the truth. It’s okay to say, “I used to hold to such and such, but I now see more light on the issue.” Then promote what’s right.
“The truth shall make you free.” John 8:32
John Van Gelderen