“I AM RIGHT; YOU MUST BE WRONG!” By Pastor YAU
Text: Luke 6:37-42.
1) Cindy’s point-of-view: “My friend Ria admires the great blue heron’s amazing 6-foot spread of wings and his majestic appearance. She welcomes the sight of the bird gliding in for a landing on a small island in the middle of the pond near her home. I also appreciate that the heron is a marvelous and unique creature. But I won’t ever welcome it to my backyard and our fishpond. That’s because I know he won’t be there just to admire our beautiful garden. No, this bird will be checking out our pond and have a free take-out fish dinner.”
Philip’s point-of-view: When I left
THE QUEST OF RIGHT FROM WRONG:
1) We need absolute standard: In this world of relativism, there is a need to have some absolute standard of right and wrong, good and bad to help us make the right and good choices. If everybody is a standard of right and wrong to himself, there won’t be a cohesive society in which we may live with peace. The Israelis had a chaotic time when there was no king, no God, no standard, no right or wrong and everyone did as he saw fit. (Judges 17:6)
2) We need God, the standard: “This is the message we have heard from Him and declared to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness.” (1 John 1:5) Since all men are sinners, born with the defects of sinful nature and evil inclination, no one in this world, regardless of his education, wisdom or personal status, is good enough to be the standard of all others. We need the super nature of God and His perfect wisdom to set the rules and direction for all men in history. Anyone who thinks or thought by others to be all knowing, he becomes an idol with all human defects. The only true standard of right or wrong is in God.
3) We need to know the standard: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105) This is one of the most quoted verses in the Bible written by the greatest King of Israel and honored as a friend of God. King David knew well that there is no other way by which he may know the right way for his life and the right path he should be in. We learn knowledge from teachers in schools, learn skill from masters and trainers, but the only way to learn right from wrong is from the word of God, the Bible. No human writing, theory or experience may give us the perfect definition and direction of right from wrong except from the Bible.
4) We need to do the standard: “Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22) It is not too hard to learn teachings of right and wrong. The real hard part is to put the leaning into practice. “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.” (1:23-24) James encourages us to practice what we learn from the Bible, “But the man who looks intently into the perfect law (the Bible) that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard but doing it, he will be blessed in what he does.” (25)
HUMAN FAULTY STANDARD:
1) The rotten human heart: “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) How can a human heart, as corrupted beyond cure as it was said in God’s word, be a judge or standard to measure right and wrong? None of us is equipped with the moral ability to judge matters of moral value unless we allow God and His word to guide us. Be careful to pretend that you are God.
2) The blinded human’s eye: “How can you say to your brother: Let me take the speck out of your eye, when all the time there is plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your won eye and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:4-5) With all our sins and prejudice, we can’t see clearly the wrongs in ourselves and in others.
3) The selfish human interest: “Each of you should look not only to your interests but also the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4) We all have a tendency of looking at things from our point of view and self-interest. Look at the story in the introduction how self-interest plays in the response to the bird from two different persons. When we are so focus in our self-interest, we can’t be fair and square in judging the way they act or their motive of their actions. The claim that I am right and you are wrong, in most cases, is a bias statement at best.
4) The damages this can do: “If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” (Galatians 5:15) Paul was warning the early Christians the result they may face if they keep biting and devouring each other. This is also applicable in homes, marriage relationships and churches if we continue to judge others by our faulty self-righteous mind. Many marriages, relationships and churches were destroyed not by attacks of Satan but by attacks of self-righteous Christians. We are to respect each other and the points of view of others when dealing with opinions and ways of doing things at home and in church. In all destructive internal flights, no one will win except Satan. Even if you think you are right, but are still a loser.
STEPS TO CORRECT THE WRONG: (The text: Luke 6:37-42)
1) Refrain from judging: “Do not judge and you will not be judged.” ()Judging others is an act of self-righteousness: I am right so I can judge wrong. Since we all have many wrongs in our life, we will be judged either by God and/or by men. When we have opinions on things different from others, it is not necessary that we are right and they are wrong. We can be wrong too, at least from the opposing point of view. Judging is a risky business. Allow God to be the only judge for He is always right.
2) Be ready to forgive: “Forgive and you will be forgiven.” () To forgive means you have been offended and this happens all the time. To be forgiven means you have offended others and this also happens all the time. To forgive and be forgiven is a necessary step to erase past grievances that paths the way for a new start of relationship, be it at home, at work, in church or else where. If you can’t forgive, you may not be forgiven and the possibility of a new start is difficult if not impossible.
3) Be honest to others: “Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with measure you use, it will be measured to you.” ()Be fair and honest when we deal with people. Also be generous in treating others and they will treat you the same way. Do not cut corners nor be stingy when it comes to dealing with material things. Be honest.
4) Don’t be smart: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?” ()Don’t try to be a teacher or a leader to others because you may be as blind as they are. Don’t you think that you have all the answers to all problems and have the know how to get all things done properly. Be humble!
5) Be respectful: “A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.” ()Quite often in today’s society, students and the younger, often ignore the wisdom and experience of their teachers and their parents. Children lack the respect to their parents, junior workers lack the respect to their supervisors and young people lacks respect to the elderly and the leadership which usually is older. You may think you know it all but wait till you know that you don’t.
6) Be honest to self: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (6:41)A plank could be a million times larger than a speck of sawdust. While we may be more wrong or have worse attitude than our brother, but we are so eager to correct a minor wrong in his life. This is not just being hypocritical, it is outright dishonest to self and to others. Be humble!
7) Follow the procedure: “How can you say to your brother: Let me take the speck out of your eye, when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye?” (6:42)Follow the correct procedure is very important in getting things right: right yourself first before you try to right others. Be patient!
8) Are you sure? “You hypocrite. First take the plank out of your own eye and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (6:42b)If you are not sure you can see the wrong of your brother clearly, don’t try to correct the wrongs of your brother because you may be wrong about him.
1) Believe in the absolute: It is very important that we, God’s people, believe in the absolute goodness of God and accept His definition of right and wrong, good and bad as they are written in the Bible. Be very careful the traps of relativism or conditional ethics which sets man as the judge of standards. Then we need to follow God’s absolute standards in our lives, private and public.
2) Principles or opinions: Be firm, straight on biblical principles but be generous and tolerant on opinions of people. Knowing our own shortcoming and limitation, leave room for different opinions on what and how to do things. Be humble, be honest, be patient and be accommodating when working with others. Try not to be judging but forgiving on others when you are not in their shoes. You will get more good things done with others than just the little thing by yourself.
3) Need a life guide? God created this universe, all the things in it and you and me. He knows every bit of everything inside out of us. Don’t try to take of on life without the best guide no money can hire. Come to God with humble attitude. Ask Him to forgive your sins and invite him into your heart to the Lord and Guide of your life. You will see the difference. Try Him today.