Lately, I’ve been busy editing my manuscript. In spite of the numerous times that I’d read through drafts, revising and proofing, I got the document back from the editor with errors. I couldn’t believe some of the silly mistakes. I couldn’t see the errors until the editor made me aware of them. It took another set of eyes to make me see what I couldn’t. We need each other, and not always just to pat one another on the back. We also need one another to show us when we error. In spite of our most noble efforts, we aren’t right all of the time, and many times we can’t see it unless we consult the right source.
Have you ever encountered people who know it all? You can’t tell them something new because he or she has experienced it all. Don’t even think about correcting her (or him) about something because he or she is always right. No new ideas can stimulate growth because it’s already been done, tried, and didn’t work. Most sane people avoid these individuals like the plague because they are stuck. They can’t grow and move because they are rooted and grounded in their own righteousness. Romans 3:10 says that not one is righteous. Our righteousness only comes through our faith (Phil. 3). We have nothing to boast, brag, or act superior about with others. We are all in need of Jesus whether we know it or not. Unless we take our opinions, knowledge and life experiences to God in prayer and then sift them through the Word of God, we cannot see life with any type of clarity.
Valuable relationships are ones that don’t coddle our rightness and overlook our wrongs. What good would it be for an editor to refuse to point out my mistakes? If I have the objective of getting the best project out possible, I need to see, accept, and fix my mistakes. Unfortunately, so many of us refuse to go to the Source. We’d rather deteriorate and diminish in our rightness than humble ourselves and ultimately grow. It’s deception as its best. People stuck in their rightness see themselves high and lifted up, but others, whether they act like it or not, can’t stand them. Growth often hurts, but it is always the best option. If we don’t grow, we languish and harden ourselves. Everyone else in the world becomes wrong, and we become the only one who’s right all of the time. There’s no reward, depth, or insight in this type of existence. It’s shallow and totally void of lasting joy and peace.
Lately, I’ve been taking a lot of time to examine and align my words, actions, and thoughts with the God’s Word. It can be hard work because it means letting go of thoughts, behavior, and actions that I may feel justified to have. However, I have to remind myself that I can’t base my decisions on how I feel and what I think and see. I also realize that I can’t rely on the fact that I know a lot of scriptures or attend church to get me by. It doesn’t matter how much we think we know about the Word or how long we’ve been saved. Every single day, we must pray, surrendering all to Him, the One who knows everything. We have to consistently spend time communing with Him. We also have to spend time in His Word, no matter how much we think we know. Only then will we be able to see ourselves for who we really are, not just who we think we are. When we see our shortcomings, we can see how much we need the Savior. When we see how utterly dependent we are on Him, we will praise and glorify Him. When we do this, we draw others to us. They come to know Him through us. We become His instruments. It’s not about us but Him.
It’s always interesting when attempting to hang a picture. When I’m up close, I feel like I know where to put the picture to hang it straight. However, after backing up some, I realize that the picture is crooked. The best way to remedy this is to use a level. I simply can’t trust my own eyes to let me know what’s perfectly straight or not. It’s the same way with a lot of things in life. We may often think we know a lot without consulting the One who knows everything. The Word of God is our level. We need it to set everything and ourselves in order. Only when we realize how very little we know, do we have the humility to seek, hear and obey God’s instructions for our lives
Don’t be afraid to be wrong. Admitting your mistakes is a powerful way to draw others to the One who makes no mistakes. When we make and admit our mistakes, we can choose to grow from them. Those who really matter won’t focus on the mistake but the character of the person who admits it. The biggest mistakes are the ones that we refuse to see, admit, and try to repair.