What To Do When You’re Wrong

Do you like being wrong?  I bet the answer is an emphatic “No!”  I don’t know anyone that likes to be wrong.

We like to think we have it together.  We like to think that our personal beliefs are always right and we never stray from the path of right.  We like to think that we have valid reasons that we do the things we do.  We think we have thought through those beliefs over years or, perhaps, decades and throughout that time, we have weeded out all the wrong things to the point that only right remains.

Now, I’m not saying that we don’t sin, sometimes we still do.  But, those sins are typically in the heat of the moment.  We apologize and we move on.  What I’m talking about is different.  I’m talking about being wrong in a base belief that we have held for some time.  For instance, when an atheist finds himself being challenged in that belief.  Or when a evolutionist find himself being challenged in that belief.

What do they do?  What do we wish them to do?  I think as Christians, we would hope and pray that they would take an open and honest look at that challenge.  That they would, at the very least, consider the fact that they might be wrong.  My question is “Do we do the same thing when we are challenged about some belief that we hold?”

I have been challenged on my belief in God and also in regards to evolution.  I have considered that I might be wrong.  I have gathered evidence.  I have looked at it with an open mind.  And, ultimately, I have proven to myself that God exists and that He created the world in six 24-hour days.

But, it’s not atheism or evolution that I really want to talk about.  Those are just examples to try to demonstrate how we need to consider that we might be wrong about our beliefs.

In 2 Samuel 11, we see that David had fallen in love with the wife of another.  So, David commanded that her husband, Uriah, be put on the front lines of the battle.  When Uriah was killed, a messenger came to David and told him the news.  David’s reply was:

David said to the messenger, “Thus shall you say to Joab, ‘Do not let this matter displease you, for the sword devours now one and now another. Strengthen your attack against the city and overthrow it.’ And encourage him.”  (2 Samuel 11:25 ESV)

Now, I’m pretty sure that David convinced himself of this.  He was no stranger to war and I’m sure he had lost men before.  His belief was that losing men happened sometimes and that, as King, sometime he made a decision that caused people to die.  I’m also convinced that David was able to convince himself that it was nothing personal.  Just something that had to be done.

We do that sometimes as well.  We may justify some sin to ourselves by using our own reasoning.  Here are some examples:

  1. Being rude to someone we don’t know reasoning that we will never see them again.
  2. A couple that doesn’t get along because both reason that they won’t start doing their part until the other does theirs.
  3. Committing some sin in private reasoning that no one will ever know.
  4. Saying something hurtful to someone reasoning that “it’s just the way I feel” or “I’m a brutally honest person.”
  5. Deciding not to do any church work reasoning that “it’s someone else’s job” or “I’ve done that before, it’s someone else’s turn.”
  6. Deciding not to forgive someone reasoning “they haven’t asked for my forgiveness.”

In all of these cases, we justify our bad behavior by avoiding responsibility.  It’s someone else’s fault / problem.  Is that what David did when he was confronted with his sin?

And the LORD sent Nathan to David. He came to him and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds, but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him. Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.” Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the LORD lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”
Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. And I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more. Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ Thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.’” David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.  (2 Samuel 12:1-13 ESV)

When David was confronted by Nathan with his sin, he immediately recognized his situation.  All he had to say was “I have sinned against the LORD.”  Do we do that or do we try to continue justifying our sin?  Do we become contrite as did David or do we continue in defiance?

David could have gotten angry at Nathan here.  He could have thought, “Who do you think you are?” or “Why are you trying to make trouble for me?” or “You aren’t worth my time!”  But David did none of those things.  David performed the three R’s.  No, not reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic.

  1. Recognized – David recognized that he had been wrong and that Nathan was right.
  2. Responsibility – David took responsibility that the sin was his.  David didn’t say “Uriah caused me to sin against the LORD” or “The devil made me sin against the LORD.” David said “I have sinned against the LORD.”  He took responsibility for his own sin.
  3. Repentance – David repented of the sin he had committed.

Even though David had committed grievous sin, even though he had murdered, even though he was an adulterer, God later called him a “man after My own heart, who will do all My will.”  Was it God’s will that David murder Uriah?  No, certainly not.  It was, however, God’s will that David repent of sin once he had committed it.

We need to take a lesson from David.  Is there someone that you have treated poorly?  Is there work that God would have you do that you have neglected?  Is there sin that you have committed or are still committing?

Be like David.  Make those things right.

Are You a Hypocrite?

For the past several days I’ve had this thought rolling around in my head and I finally decided to put it down.  The question is “Are you a hypocrite?”  You may be and not even know it.

Let me explain…

God has given us free will to choose as we will.  He desires for us to follow the example and the commands of His Son and Jesus told us in Matthew 7:21:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

If we say that we are Christians, followers of Christ, but we don’t make decisions that are in accordance with the Word that God and Christ have said, then we are hypocrites.  When we do that, we are pretenders because we are just pretending to follow Him when we really aren’t.

I said at the beginning that you may be a hypocrite and not even know it.  How is that possible?  I mean, wouldn’t you know if you are just pretending to follow Jesus but inside are making decisions contrary to His will?  The answer to that is…sometimes.

Sometimes, yes, we know we are pretending.  However, there are some decisions that a vast majority of people claiming to be Christians make on a regular basis in which they never stop to consider how the Word of God should play into that decision.

I’m talking about voting.

When I started writing this blog, I decided that I would write exclusively about the Bible.  I decided that I would rarely interject anything about politics, but I feel that I must do this right now.  The overarching question is this:

Are you casting your vote without considering how the Word of God plays into your decision of who to vote for?  If so, you are a hypocrite.

If you vote to support a person that opposes God, then you are voting for a person that supports Satan.  Be very careful!  Let’s take a look at a few things from God’s Word.  I’ll leave it to the reader to decide if their past votes have made them hypocrites.

Abortion

God knows us before we are born:

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
(Psalm 139:13-15 ESV)

Paul says he we set apart before he was born.  How could an inert hunk of non-human flesh be set apart:

But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace,  (Galatians 1:15 ESV)

Homosexuality

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.  (Romans 1:26-27 ESV)

Welfare

The Bible talks about those who can work but choose not to.  Keep in mind, this isn’t speaking about those who can’t fend for themselves…Christians should already be helping those who can’t help themselves.  The problem is, we have a lot of people who simply refuse to work in favor of letting everyone else provide for them.  This is what Paul is addressing here.

For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.  (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 ESV)

Marriage

The Bible supports only traditional marriage (as it has come to be called…when God invented it, He just called it marriage.)

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.  (Genesis 1:27 ESV)

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.  (Genesis 2:24 ESV)

Prayer

if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.  (2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV)

Morality in Office

When the wicked rise, people hide themselves,
but when they perish, the righteous increase.  (Proverbs 28:28 ESV)

When the righteous increase, the people rejoice,
but when the wicked rule, the people groan.  (Proverbs 29:2 ESV)

He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?  (Luke 6:39 ESV)

 

So, I ask once again, are you a hypocrite?  Do you vote the way you want to or do you vote according to God’s Word?  Please pray and consider carefully before you vote.

If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.  (2 John 1:10-11 ESV)