Friday, April 24, 2015

Being Wrong

“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.  But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’ He answered, ‘I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.’ And he said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?’ The man said, ‘The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.’ Then the Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’” (Genesis 3:6-13 NIV)

I wrote yesterday about our reflexive need to be right.  There is also a reflexive avoidance in admitting we are wrong. And it’s been that way since the beginning.  

When caught in sin, Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the serpent. Neither one of them could admit they were responsible for their decision to disobey God.  In other words, to admit they were in the wrong.  

Just as much as we love to be right, we hate to be seen as in the wrong.  Our bent is to deny or justify, usually long before we admit we are wrong. And the results are similar to when we insist that we are right—hostility and separation are prolonged.  I don’t think it is insignificant that we never read of Adam or Eve’s admission of responsibility.  

Wrongdoing naturally creates enmity in relationships and confession is the only possible road back to reconciliation.  So our bent toward avoidance in admitting we are wrong leads to a boatload of relational problems.  Marriages suffer, parental-child relationships are strained, friendships are broken, and we are separated from God.  All because we have such a hard time saying, “I was wrong.”  

James says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. (5:16)  Healing can only take place when there is an admission we were in the wrong.  

Today, recognize that admitting you are wrong is not the end of the world.  In fact, it can be the beginning to restoring your most important relationships.  It is never easy, but the end result will be well worth it.  

© Jim Musser 2015

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