Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning. – Proverbs 9:9 (NIV)
I like being right. There is a sense of satisfaction in having the right answer, the right solution or the right insight. It is a good feeling, but it can also pave the way to a warped view of righteousness. Once we get the taste of being right, there can be a hunger for more. While it might seem logical that wanting to be right would lead to a desire to learn, sadly we humans are not very logical. More often than not, the hunger to be right is satisfied easier by deciding that what we believe or think is right and bending everything else to fit. Been there, done that and made a fool of myself in the process.
God has a better way. Righteousness is concerned in being right with God, not our idea of what being right with God looks like. Righteousness hungers to know God and His will without any concern for what that may cost us. Righteousness comes to those who are teachable and humble. We have to question our ideas, perceptions and motivations in light of this. Do we think what we think, see what we see and do what we do because we have decided that is the “right” way, or because God is defining those things in us through His righteousness?
We, however, are creatures of habit. We don’t take the things we say, see or do into question on a day to day basis. They happen without much thought and therefore without any chance for instruction. God has innumerable opportunities to instruct us and we walk by them because we have already decided we are right. Walking in righteousness gives us an attitude of teachability (I am pretty sure that is a made up word). Walking in righteousness opens our eyes to see and our minds to comprehend those things that may conflict with our preconceived notions of God, the world and ourselves.
I still struggle with the whole “liking to be right” thing. It is a flaw in my character, but thank God that He has pointed it out. In the pursuit of righteousness I am sure it will not be the only flaw that will come to light, but I would rather be right before God than right about anything else. Lord, help us pursue righteousness with a teachable spirit and leave being right to You.