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Sunday, January 4, 2015

I Was Wrong!

“Our love of being right is best understood as our fear of being wrong”
Kathryn Schulz

When my husband found his long-lost treasures, the photos and negatives from the early part of his photojournalist career, I thought they would soon be strewn throughout his office and onto the kitchen counters. In fact, I was prepared to make a sign for his office entrance, which is most always used to enter the house, to guide visitors to the front door instead. 

Happily, I was wrong. His office, with the exception of his desk, has been spared. The kitchen counters, to my great surprise, are still mostly available for food preparation. The dining room, however, has new decor. There are stacks of photos and negatives just about everywhere as he sorts and labels them: "Hard News, Gary at Work, Famous Faces, Features, Historical Events." As more of these treasures emerge from the archived boxes, we will probably be eating at the kitchen counter on occasion. 

I am quite happy to be wrong. Happier still, that he is finding these pieces of his life and taking time to sort through them...happy to hear him tell the stories to the grandchildren who want to hear them. And I'm happy to admit I was wrong.

It's good to recognize our faults and to know God still loves us in spite of our imperfections. It sets us free to allow others the grace to grow. Some of us can be so good at being good, that we don't think we can be bad. And that's bad. Some of us are really good at finding the imperfections in others. We point out their errors as if it were our God-given assignment. Others of us feel shame and humiliation at being wrong, as if everyone will now know how stupid we are. But, neither of these stances produces peace. The truth is, we are all wrong, even when we think we're doing it right and every time we think we're doing it wrong. 

It is by God's grace that we are able to do anything good or right. To the extent we recognize that, we are truly free to accept His goodness. Our righteousness really equates to filthy, disgusting rags compared to the perfection of God. So, comparing ourselves to others, no matter how good or right they may seem to be, will always leave us hopelessly impaired, falling short of the intended goal of perfection. 

If you've spent a good part of your life trying to be perfect, trying to keep from making mistakes, it really can change your world to realize you don't have to perform everything perfectly. You just have to be able to admit when you were wrong before the one who never makes mistakes. He already knows.  And the happiest news of all is that His gift of righteousness is available to all of us. As we avail ourselves of it, the world becomes a happier place for each of us. It's a live-and-let-live, love-and-let-love, kind of world. It's a world of peace, not as the world gives, but as God gives. That's really happy.

2 Corinthians 10: 12
For we are not bold to number or compare ourselves with certain of them that commend themselves: but they themselves, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves with themselves, are without understanding (NIV).

Romans 14:4
You cannot judge the servants of someone else. Their own master decides if they are doing right or wrong. And the Lord’s servants will be right, because the Lord is able to make them right (ERV).

Matthew 5:5
You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought (The Message).

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