How many times in your life have you been wrong about something? And did you like it? I mean did you like it when you found out you were wrong?
If you did like it, congratulations on being first. Because here’s the thing – we all have a point of view, and we think we are right, and we can defend our point of view until there are no words left – and it won’t matter to whoever we are arguing with if their views are different because they also can defend their veiws until they are blue in the face.
But what if you are wrong? Who do you learn you are wrong from? Not the person or group with an opposing viewpoint - you would never listen to them. Where do we get understanding and knowledge from, and how do we trust that it is true?
Well, here’s my story – I’ve been wrong. I’ve been told I was wrong and I didn’t believe it. I had my arguments in place, I defended my little tower, I threw stones and took a few hits and my mind still was not changed. I’m not talking about anything in particular here, even if you think I am – just in general. My mind is made up, I’m right, you’re wrong.
But then, sometimes, something wonderful happens. When I am reading, or praying, or researching I run across something, or have a thought or I’m given a thought and my view changes. It’s always painful - not being wrong. That doesn’t hurt. Finding out you’re wrong and having to change when you discover truth – that’s really hard.
It’s called a paradigm shift. It happens in science from time to time, when a mind blowing discovery is made. Science is an attempt to explain what is observed. At one time, the earth was flat and the sun revolved around the earth. It was religious heresy to say otherwise. When someone did say it, it was not a good outcome. Now we know better, because there was a shift in thinking over time.
Here’s how I get wisdom and understanding – I spend time with God. I read, I pray, I listen, and the Holy Spirit teaches me. And sometimes, when I am wrong he shows me and I have to change. And it hurts, trying to think a brand new way. But I do it.
Here’s two things I know for sure, and I base everything else on this – When Jesus was asked “what’s the most important thing ever” (this is an actual quote I think), he said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind. And love your neighbor as you love yourself. Everything depends on this.” Love God, love others. Everything depends on this.
Nations rise and fall, governments come and go, leaders conquer and are conquered. And in the midst, all we have to do is simply love. Just as Jesus did.
Since I figured out what that really means – the sacrificial nature of it all, that I need to be not just a loving person, but a giving person, a person who is willing to die – my life, my way of doing things, has shifted. And wow it hurt a lot! This has all happened in the last 6 months. God has really gotten my attention. All he had to do was die.
As for us, he prefers a living sacrifice. A dead sacrifice can’t make a daily impact. A dead sacrifice is a one time event – we are to live our lives daily in his grace, loving. And that’s it.
Where are you? Are you right or wrong? And if you’re wrong, how do you know? You can’t trust yourself to know, and you can’t change your own mind. The change comes from an external source – so stop and listen for that still small voice, and for once, do what he says!