Last updated on November 11th, 2019
Do you ever change your belief about something? When was the last time you admitted you were wrong? I like to think there’s an art to correcting people. Everybody likes being right, and nobody likes being wrong. But what happens if everybody always thinks they’re right? And nobody ever sees they’re wrong? That can make spreading the Gospel of Christ hard. At the end of my last post, I pointed out that Apostle Paul focused on unity in Philippians chapter 2. This was after he mentioned in the end of chapter 1 that we all partake in the suffering of Christ. The suffering of being in conflict with those who oppose the message of the gospel. And I ended by stating, “We suffer enough as it is in conflict with people against us promoting Christ, why should we suffer more by our own disunity?”
How people tend to correct others
I’d suggest our lack of unity is related to our failures to correct people. And also our arrogance in not admitting our own error. To address the first point, I’ve been writing on this blog for many years. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told I was wrong. And it’s amazing the level of aggressiveness people choose to correct people over the internet.
People don’t say “Excuse me, but there’s something you might have misunderstood”. More often they say, “You’re completely wrong, you have no idea what you’re talking about, you’re teaching blasphemy, etc.” Anyone ever said that to change your belief? I laugh at these comments. Because it’s funny that someone thinks they’re going to change my belief by talking down to me. Or insulting me. It’s how a lot of people often try to correct others. It not only doesn’t change minds, it makes the person believe the opposite of what you’re saying more.
Apostle Paul told Timothy on how to correct people in this way, “24 The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, 25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive [i]by him to do his will.”
With gentleness. If we’re not being gentle with how we correct people, we’re disobeying God, and thus we’re sinning.
How to change your belief
Let me give you 2 quick examples of when I was corrected by the comments on this blog. Let this open you to being able to change your belief. First, I listened to what they said. Second, I looked at the point they were making from scripture. Third, I looked at the context, and realized they were right. Last, I admitted I was wrong, and changed my belief. But here are my examples.
- Once I wrote a post on marriage and said that there were no weddings in scripture. A follower of my blog pointed me to a verse that showed in fact there was a wedding. I looked at it, thanked her for pointing that out, and changed that line in my post.
- Years ago in the beginning of this blog, I wrote a different post on the devil never being an angel. It’s no longer posted right now. While I haven’t changed my belief on that yet, there was a point I used to argue my point. A person in the comments helped me see through scripture that that point wasn’t accurate. So I no longer use that point as proving the devil was never angel.
For me, it’s important to always get closer to whatever God’s truth is through scripture. Doing our best to live by that. If it means I have to change my belief sometimes, I’ll do it. No traditional church belief should ever be above what scripture states to us in context.
But this can be really hard for some people. Beliefs are often a part of our identity. When someone challenges you to change your beliefs, you tend to feel your identity is be challenged. It’s a hard thing for any of us to admit something we believed in our faith was wrong. In the time I’ve written on this blog, there’ve been few people who changed their belief after I tried to correct them.
You have to change hearts
There have been people I’ve talked to in real life that did change their minds. And they thought about what I corrected them on. So I know it’s possible to change someone’s mind about something they’re in error about. And it’s possible for you to change your belief too. But it’s less about changing minds, and more about changing hearts. Because we’re all emotional creatures. We tend to settle on a belief based on a good feeling we get about it. Then later rationalize it after the fact.
I’ve learned more if I can give someone a good feeling in what I’m sharing with them, it changes people. If I show good character that reflects well on my beliefs, that opens up people to different thinking. But in the end, they have to be moved by God and His Word to come to believe what’s true. But the words we say and how we say them can make a BIG difference. To whether we’re helping push someone closer to heaven, or pushing them closer to hell.
Peace in Christ.
(If you haven’t obeyed the Gospel of Christ as 2 Thessalonians 1:8 instructs, I encourage you to read Mark 16:16 and Acts 2:38. Follow those instructions if you want to begin your journey of being a Christian today. May God bless you.)