Friday, April 21, 2017

Thinking You're Right When You May Be Wrong

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:7-10 NIV)

Looking back to last year’s election season, one thing stood out to me more than any other—the lack of humility, not merely from the main candidates, but among the vast majority of social media commentators. People’s opinions were not couched in cautious terms.  There was rarely a hint of hesitancy that perhaps a person’s opinion might be wrong or not fully informed.  Their opinions were deemed as facts that were undisputed, regardless of which side they were on.

But are we always right?  Is every conclusion we reach irrefutable?  At a glance, it often seems so.  And I think it is the fruit of a seed planted more than two decades ago on many campuses—my truth is my truth. Put another way, when a person was confronted with an opposing view: “that’s your truth” became the defensive response.  The seed of the relativity of truth was planted and, long after, the bitter fruit is appearing in bunches.

Truth has become something that we each control. Personal truth has replaced Truth. We are now free to reach whatever conclusions we want and the expectation is we have the right not to be challenged on their veracity.

The question is, have we grown so arrogant that we are not even willing to submit ourselves and our views to God?  Are we so convinced of our opinions that we cannot even countenance the thought that perhaps we are wrong?

The bent of our culture reflects human nature. We are prideful and obstinate.  We want to believe what we want to believe and we want to do what we want to do.  I’m like that and so are you.  It is a fact that is inherent to each of us. It has been so since Eden. Thus, there is much cause for us to be vigilant against our pride. It is so natural to us that it will easily overwhelm us if we are not intentional about combatting it.  

As I look at many who profess to follow Jesus, what concerns me is the lack of awareness of this problem. Just because we say we’re followers of Jesus doesn’t mean we are always following Him in the proper way. We are sinners who all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). It is the greatest hubris to think we have everything right.

Today, recognize your truth is not necessarily or automatically the Truth. Because of your inherent pride, you may have some things wrong.  Let this fact lead you to submitting and humbling yourself before the Lord. The more you are willing to do that, the less likely you are to be wrong when you think you’re right.

© Jim Musser 2017

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