Yielding the Right of Way

Here lies the body of William Jay,

Who died failing to yield the right of way.

He was right, dead right, as he sped along,

But he’s just as dead as if he were wrong.

This poem showed up in a newspaper many years ago. It's point was well taken: There will be times when you are clearly in the right, but in matters that are so petty and insignificant that you might as well be wrong. How many times have we argued a point as if our very lives depended on being right, only to realize later that it did not amount to a hill of beans?

I wonder how many close friends have been separated because one or both could not stand the thought of losing an argument? Or how many marriages have been ruined because the husband or wife always had to be right? The point is not to suggest that we abandon truth or act as if there is no right and wrong in life - the point is that we don’t always have to be disagreeable over every disagreement.

This is especially important in the area of God’s word. It’s true that God’s will cannot be changed or compromised in any way. It is also true that we have a duty to rescue those racing headlong down dangerous paths. Having said that, we have to realize that most of us have the same desire: To find out what God wants of us and then to obey. We can either help each other along the way as we journey to heaven, providing each other with a kind nudge when we get off track, or we can seek to win every religious argument that comes up and then rub the loser's nose in it when he is wrong.

One way will be a pleasant journey to heaven. The other a contest between know it alls travelling a path to a different destination. Which would you prefer? We can be technically right, dead right, but what good will being right do us if we lose those we love along the way?

A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions. 

Proverbs 18:2, NIV