The Tyranny of Right

I hate being wrong.

Granted, not many people enjoy being wrong, I would imagine. I can’t envision someone sitting at home having an argument with their wife over wanting to be wrong.


“NO I AM!”


The older I get, and the longer I’ve been married, however, I’ve realized that to a large extent, I’ve built a part of my identity on being right. Not that I walk around just obsessing over every little thing that I have any control over, but I like to think I’m right most of the time.

Case in point: Several months ago, my wife and I were in the car (I think) and got to talking about something trivial, like sports, or song lyrics, or the name of the guy who seems to be in every move (Steve Buscemi.) I think we were discussing a song lyric, and she heard it one way, I heard it another, and I would not let it go. I kept insisting that she was wrong. My wife is gracious and wonderful, and she dropped the issue. Not me. I stewed. I barley spoke a word until we got where we were going, and as soon as I parked the car and got out, pulled out my iPhone and went to my trusted source: Google.

I was wrong.

I told her she was right, and she laughed it off, saying something like “Of course I was.” Why did I vent over that? Why on earth did I react that strongly to something as stupid as a song lyric?

It’s because I’ve built my identity on being right, at least to a degree. There is a pastor that I greatly respect named Tullian Tchividjian. He wrote an incredible book on suffering called Glorious Ruin that is amazing. Seriously, go buy it. He posted something to twitter awhile back that has stuck with me for months. He said,

“@PastorTullian: If you feel compelled to respond every time you’re criticized it reveals just how much you’ve built your identity on being right.”


Am I the only one who this strikes a chord with? I fight back. I respond with anger and animosity. I’ve built my identity on being right, instead of building it on Jesus, and his redemptive work on the cross.

I think until we are free from the tyranny of always being “right” we will never be righteous. We will never be able to bring the Kingdom of heaven to Earth if we are too busy bringing a defense to those who would dare question anything we say or do.

Do you want to be free? I know I do.


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