Before I let you get into this, Simply Pixie is on FB! Click here!
Also, this post is heavily dipped in religion, but even if you're not religious, I'd really love it if you read it and left me with your thoughts. The issue of being wronged has an impact on everyone, after all.
I was going through a stash of essays, and absentmindedly clicked on one and scanned it over. One line caught my attention:
“Why not rather be wronged?”
I stopped. My mind began to go off on a tangent. Why indeed. Why wouldn’t we rather be wronged? The simple answer would be: we hate being wronged. And wrong. Before we even tackle that question in seriousness, we need some context.
The 1 Corinthians epistle is a book of the Bible, in the New Testament section. It is another one of Paul’s works (he wrote a lot of the New Testament. Look him up). This book was a letter written to one of the early churches, this one in Corinth, to give practical advice on how to deal with and resolve the issues and corruption they were facing. These guys must have really gotten themselves into chaos, as Paul’s tone throughout the letter is blunt, straightforward, and even harsh at times. But what stuck out to me the most during the time I spent studying it and just recently when I stumbled upon it again, was the teaching on being wronged.
Paul was so determined to drill the importance of harmony the followers of Christ were to have amongst themselves, even if it meant taking it to the extreme and allowing someone else to wrong you without fighting and screaming back. He stated:
“The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?” (1 Corinthians 6:7).
Paul was writing about lawsuits here, but I believe his last two statements are not restricted to only lawsuits. It’s a tough lesson to swallow in any day and age. At the time I was taking a survey class on the New Testament, and during one of the breaks, a fellow classmate sarcastically grinned,
“If I’ve learned anything from 1 Corinthians, it’s to sue everybody. Sue them all!”
It was said in jest, but in reality, that is pretty much the attitude human nature carries around and fights back with. The other popular option being sitting back, fuming, and thinking about all the things that you would do, but won’t for reasons or another.
Putting aside the need to prove you are in the right (side note: there's always a possibility you're wrong about you being right) and swallowing your pride and anger in the name of peace and love for the ones you are close to is not a task humans feel naturally compelled to do. However, I would imagine that any decently mature person would already know the importance of learning to simply let certain things go if they hope to hang on to a healthy relationship.
Don’t take this the wrong way. I do not believe this passage is saying to never stand up for yourself or fight back. Paul was addressing a church – a body of believers who had committed their lives to following Christ and his teachings. These people were fighting as though they hated each other’s guts over just about everything imaginable when they should’ve been setting an example of what Christ-like love is like (and this has gone on throughout the ages). I think we need to take this advice in that context. Your family in Christ and your immediate family would be a good start. How do you continue to live out your lives together the way Jesus did with his faulty, back talking, grumpy, ill-tempered, and even disloyal companions? Will it take swallowing a loss to be more like Jesus?
If so, then why not rather be wronged? What is a loss anyhow, if it results in harmony? Is not harmony and peace a win? Even more so, is not displaying a forgiving, loving attitude to the people hardest to love one of the best testimonies you can live out in this world? Setting such an example in sincerity certainly would be correctly portraying what following Christ should be like. People are drawn to love and peace, and usually aren’t ever positively touched by scathing, hateful judgment. If there is an issue, make your case peacefully and without hate, but if it goes nowhere, leave the the issue to God. He can handle it.
Why not rather be wronged, if it is the right thing to do?