How Being Wrong Can Sometimes Be Right
How Being Wrong Can Sometimes Be Right
This is a guest post by Kelly Combs. She is a full-time housewife and mom. She blogs at ChattyKelly
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The song ended on a sour note. It wasn’t the note that was actually wrong; it was the fact that everyone held the note for a different length of time. We didn’t follow the conductor. This resulted in the droning sound of a hissing snake as everyone stopped on different beats.
Exasperated, our leader said, “You have to look at me. End when I end. If I’m wrong be wrong with me!” While his last sentence caused me to pause, it made sense.
Even if he ended a beat early or late, if we all ended at the same time no one would notice. If we didn’t follow his cues we wouldn’t make beautiful music, but instead be a cacophony of voices. We had to stay together, even if it meant being wrong together.
This standard can create harmony in life, as well as in music, improving relationships and building trust.
- In Marriage—The Duet: A man was telling friends about the great movie he saw Wednesday night, when his wife interrupted, “No, it was Thursday.” Did it make a difference?
No, says family expert Kevin Leman. He calls the wife’s interruption combative. Allowing your spouse’s error to go unchecked strengthens the partnership of your marriage, and gives you an opportunity to be wrong together.
- In Family—The Ensemble: My daughter came home with a low B on her algebra test. She studied hard with her dad, and I could see the disappointment on her face over the grade. This was not a time to bring up the fact that she could have studied more, or to fill her with platitudes that she would do better next time.
Instead, I looked over the test and said truthfully, “Wow, this was really hard. I’m not sure I would have gotten a B.” In choosing to empathize with her, and “be wrong with her,” I created camaraderie and collaboration. Then we could brainstorm together some ways to improve her math skills.
- In Business—The Symphony: In his post “How Real Leaders Demonstrate Accountability,” Michael Hyatt shared the story of Thomas Nelson division leader Allen Arnold, who took full responsibility for the budget failings his team experienced one month.
Arnold wasn’t just wrong with his team, but for his team. He used pronouns like “I” and “Me” instead of hiding behind his team (e.g., “we didn’t do such and such”) or blaming others (e.g., “they didn’t do such and such.”). In doing so he built trust and confidence among his employees, and gained the respect of the Executive Team.
This is not a lesson in integrity but in team-building. When someone does the wrong thing morally, we are called to rebuke, correct, and instruct. But in accidental and incidental occurrences, there can be value in being wrong together. When we come together in unison whether in choir, in business or in life, we will find harmony and live a life in concert.
Questions: Have you ever chosen to be wrong with someone? What was the result? You can leave a comment by clicking here
What is God's design?
Now that the news cycle has darted off to attend to take a quick peek at other shiny things, I have a question: SINCE WHEN DOES MY RESPONSE TO TRUTH [EITHER POSITIVELY OR NEGATIVELY] ALTER TRUTH?
- Does the fact that I skip doing my daily work out substantially impact the fact that exercise is nevertheless a vital part of a healthy lifestyle?
- Does the fact that I grab two squares of Ghiradelli’s Dark Chocolate with Raspberry just before I go to bed substantially change the fact that diabetics shouldn’t eat sweets?
Shame on me! I get that; but seriously!? Since when does white cease to be white just cuz I’m feeling a tad gray? And if it doesn’t— why is the prevailing argument in support of an evolving definition of marriage— WHY DOES IT ALWAYS SEEM TO COME DOWN TO THIS:
“How can you ‘Neanderthal Christians’ say you’re defending marriage when half of all Christian marriages end in divorce?”
First, let me respond with this: Guilty as charged.
It’s true— in marriage, as well as any other ethic you care to address, we who bear the name of Jesus have miserably failed in our attempts to fully reflect God’s character and His righteous, perfect design. But how does the fact that Christians can’t fully align anything we claim to believe in concert with God’s plan— how do our failures scale up to “BECAUSE THAT’S TRUE, WHAT HAS ALWAYS BEEN RIGHT NOW NEEDS TO CHANGE?”
The point of the argument is not what the church is doing, but what the Bible says. No sane Christian has ever suggested that the God Squad has ever cornered the market on actually LIVING out God’s truth [I said, “sane”]. But does my inability to perfectly conform to truth— DOES MY WEAKNESS DIMINISH GOD’S TRUTH? OR DOES IT DIMINISH ME?
The wrong I do doesn’t negate the way things ought to be. Marriage was conceived by God— and at the outset HE established the parameters: “That is why a man leaves his father and mother is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”
Even then, God did not bend to cultural pressure. Adam had been checking out birds, elephants, orangutans— plus every other creature. He was seeking relationship. Yet, as he named those critters, even Adam came to understand: “No suitable helper was found.”
So God responded by shaping a masterful solution via a vision named Eve. Think of it: She would perfectly conform to him, and he would find completion in her. And that’s not the conclusion of some stupid locked-in-a-time-warp ignorant pastor, just look around! That’s creation’s obvious and purposeful design— and it is based on both nature and revelation.
I’m not pretending to offer a way through this mess. How does the church respond to the charge that even Christian people are willfully rejecting God’s design?
The reality is— we are. All I’m saying is, “Let’s not allow culture to convince us that because we’re not demonstrating God’s design very effectively— that because we are flawed— that God’s design needs changed.”
Piers Morgan wants to know when the church is going to catch up to the times.
Answer? We don’t intend to. Our mission is not to be embraced by our culture; we are called to uphold revealed truth. And if that means we are hated because of it? Then our kudos will have to come from Jesus Who said, “Everyone will hate you because of me.”
Knowing we don’t have to respond to this argument can protect us from two fatally flawed over-corrects:
- Foolishly trying to catch up to our culture by editing God’s design, and/or…
- Acting like stupid jerks with inflammatory rhetoric that blatantly ignores our own depravity.
Some claim that they are changing their views about same-sex marriage because they have studied the teachings of Jesus. Which is really quite a bizarre leap since Jesus NEVER changed His mind on the topic. In fact, He did exactly what I’m suggesting we still need to do: He took His definition of marriage back to the beginning of marriage.
“Haven’t you read…”
I love that line. Almost as much as this line:
“…that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
Oh I get it: There’s a whole lot of separating going on, even among most Christians who manage to marry someone of a different gender. But that sad reality diminishes us; it does not deny the design.
I am not advocating the ill-treatment of anyone— gay, divorced, or any of the other iniquities that afflicts every single one of us. In fact, the putrid display of gracelessness among our ranks— makes me want to puke. I despise it whenever someone who claims to follow Christ treats other people who don’t ascribe to our convictions in vicious disregard of that person’s God-endowed worth. I can’t find words ugly enough to describe the awfulness of such behavior. A behavior that has GOT TO STOP!
But I am also convinced that my weakness shouldn’t diminish God’s truth. And that the most loving thing I could ever do— for anybody— is to make certain they understand the beauty of God’s original [and unedited] design.