Developing Godly Character Pt 2: Wanting to be wrong

Well, none of us actually WANT to be wrong but it is a very healthy thing to be willing to be exposed as wrong.  People who cannot (in their own minds) be wrong are very dangerous and when that is coupled with the ministry it can be deadly.

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Imagine a parent never admitting error, or a teacher, or a doctor, or (insert profession here).

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A parent who does not admit error is a parent who will never apologize, never exhibit humility, and who will invariably pass on lies to their children.  As the child grows, he will begin to notice errors and will lose respect for the parent.  Worse comes to worse, the child will exhibit the same behaviors as an adult.

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A teacher who does not admit error will lead people astray, unable to even conceive of being wrong.  They will not learn, and they will squash any dissenters, as well as those who ask the really good questions.

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A doctor who does not admit error can and will endanger, sicken and kill people.

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A minister who does not admit error will do all of the above on a far more serious scale – an eternal scale.

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There are a ton of anointed people out there, but the anointing doesn’t come with infallibility.  In fact, if anything, the anointing can often exacerbate a person’s failings.  Those to whom much is given are going to be put through the wringer, and they will either come out humbled and cleaner or twisted.  And the difference between the two outcomes comes down to a willingness to admit fallibility.  Not in the theoretical but in the actual.

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I have issues that need fixed.  I will never be perfect this side of eternity,  I will always be subject to sin.  When I am compromised emotionally, I will always be susceptible to doing evil.

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And being fallible bothers me, but I can’t deny it.  And I can’t allow my embarrassment over it to get in the way of getting it exposed and dealt with.  I can’t lash out at the people who notice what I am doing and call me on it.  I can’t blame them for seeing the things my behavior made obvious.  My faults are not their fault.

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So I screw up.  And then I have to let people tell me that I screwed up.  And then I have to apologize.  Although, in general, God Himself tells me I have screwed up almost right away.  But it wasn’t always like that — it used to be that I didn’t want to hear it and people had to tell me.

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So what changed?  I had to start caring about the people around me more than I cared about the illusion of being right.  I could fool myself, but no one else was fooled.  Once I realized that, all my pretending seemed pretty ludicrous.  Once I got my ego out of the way, I started seeing how my being wrong was impacting so many people on so many different levels and I began to want it exposed.

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Wanting to be right was about me.  Wanting to know that I was wrong was about you.

 

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Maybe that is the first step towards being a servant, a real servant.  After all, our ability to do good is only effective if we know enough about our bad to get it out of the way.  We have to see that bad, and we have to hate it without hating ourselves.

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I love myself, but I haven’t always.  I want to be a safe person someday, because I love myself.  I want to find out absolutely every one of my faults so that they can be dealt with — not the stuff people think is wrong with me, but the stuff that really is wrong with me, the deep stuff that people can’t even see — the deep stuff that makes the shallow stuff happen.

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It isn’t enough to want our wrongs exposed for the sake of others,  but also for our own sake, so that we can walk as people of integrity.  Not as people who think they are right, but as people who know when they are wrong and do something about it.

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