If being wrong is the worst thing that happens to you today, is it really that bad of a day?
Being wrong about trivial facts: who is the best sports team, what is the weather going to do today, what’s the fastest route through town, these are small ways in which we can be wrong. No big deal, right?
The real fear builds around the large ways in which we can be wrong – what if I was wrong about that person, that job, that call I felt, that purchase I made, that career direction I took?
My favorite: What if I messed up my family’s life by making a wrong decision? I have thought of this often. I think sometimes the move to come back to Kentucky to attend seminary was wrong. I invested a lot of time and money in getting a degree called a Masters of Divinity. Don’t get me wrong, I have used what I learned in the degree program, but I have never gotten or not gotten a job because of the Mdiv.
Should I have not gone back to school? Waste of time and waste of money? In my heart of hearts, I don’t think so, but there is still that sliver of doubt and fear at times that I was wrong.
Making wrong decisions is one part of it, there are consequences for all of our actions— but actively fearing being wrong is worse. This goes beyond the fear of being corrected or embarrassed. You hear what I am saying? We fear our being is wrong. We fear that who we are is wrong. Messed up. Beyond repair.
Being wrong is something we all fear as humans. It is the first of the hydra heads that we will face in this blog/sermon series.
My current blog/sermon series running from March 3- April 21, 2019
We all know deep inside that fear of being wrong is there. It sometimes is masked as anger or frustration or cynicism or sarcasm, but when we peel back the layers of the onion, underneath of it the fear of being wrong shows up.
Jesus, our Guide on this journey – the one that goes before and clears the path (see Hebrews 12:2) has the words to center and ground us:
John 14:1-6 (Common English Bible) says this:
“Don’t be troubled. Trust in God. Trust also in me. 2 My Father’s house has room to spare. If that weren’t the case, would I have told you that I’m going to prepare a place for you? 3 When I go to prepare a place for you, I will return and take you to be with me so that where I am you will be too. 4 You know the way to the place I’m going.” 5 Thomas asked, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Jesus provides a way for us. A path to walk. This way is one of truth – this is a way of life.
It is trustworthy to say again: Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Our best bet is to find him – or better said, allow ourselves to be found by him- and go with him, down his way, with his truth, and in his life. If we go with him, then some of our greatest fears of being wrong start to diminish because we know he knows where he is going. We are okay because we are with him. Re-read the passage, do you hear the heart of Jesus? He is trying to assure the disciples that they are okay. He has them. He will take care of them. Because He is the way, the truth, and the life.
Living this out is easier said than done. The cave is deep and dark, the hydra of being wrong can do a lot of damage even can emotionally/mentally/spiritually kill us. Jesus goes with us into this cave to face it—but stepping into the cave requires faith and trust.
On my good days – when I am grounded in and connected to Jesus – I know that going to seminary and other major life decisions were made with Jesus directing. And I know it was a moment where he was pointing me in the way, the truth and the life and I participated and went. I can trust the steps I took because I can see the path the Guide laid out for me.
Where do you have fears you are wrong or have been wrong?
Where is God stirring your heart today?
Is God trying to get your attention and redirect you in the way, the truth and the life?
Is the enemy or your own self-doubt messing with your good life by chipping away with your fear of being wrong?
God, give us clarity as we seek you. We want to walk with you in. We want to go with Jesus in the way, the truth and the life. Lead and guide and direct us as we face the hydra of fear in our lives. In Jesus name, Amen.
Please continue to join in this time with the reading below and watch the sermon here or come to church to hear more about the fear of being wrong and how Jesus calls us in the way, the truth, and the life.
Reading for this series
Strength and courage,