Carl Magee had a way of getting under people’s skin. The newspaperman was known for his blistering editorials that help expose numerous scandals such as the famous Teapot Dome Scandal. Those people he raked over often fought back against him with libel suit and sometimes with their fists. Once an angry judge attacked Magee on the street over something he had done. The scuffle resulted in Magee pulling a gun, winging the judge and killing a bystander. Carl Magee wasn’t afraid to say what he thought was right and do what he thought should be done, even if it meant upsetting everything and everyone around him. Probably even you! What you say you never even heard of him, how could you already dislike him?
Well chances are you been upset by his famous invention. You see when Magee was working as the editor of the Oklahoma News, he was on a committee that was trying to solve the problem parking problems in Oklahoma City. Parking congestion was hurting business and the police couldn’t come up with a solution that could fix the problem. So Magee came up with an idea of his own, a coin operated timing device that could “rent” out parking space for a short amount of time. Soon, his Dual Park O Meters (so named because they served two purposes controlling parking and bring in money for cities) soon spread to other cities and in two years more than 20,000 had been installed, forcing people to pay for something that had always been free. It’s no one you don’t like him!
I see a lot of men like Magee in our world today, people that want to do what they think is right but never think about how their actions may cause even greater damage. A law created to help some ends up hurt many others. An angry outburst on the side of truth ends up maligning the cause. The point won by deeming an opponent in a debate, end up losing you the people your trying to win to over. We make a stand, but at what cost?
Some short term “solutions” might fix one problem but cause more with the anger they lead to. “Blasts” of truth against those that attack us often don’t really stop the attackers but end up doing a lot more collateral damage to innocent bystanders. It not enough for us to be right, we have to act right as well.
As Christians, we can’t let our passion for the truth, to allow us to behave in such a way that would bring reproach on the Truth (2 Peter 2:2). We may pride ourselves for telling it like it is and never backing down, but if we do so at the harm of others souls, have we really done the right thing? I not saying we can stand for what is right, I’m just saying we should do it in such a way that we don’t undermine our true purpose. Being “right” doesn’t make us right. Truth must be taught in love!