It’s Okay to be Wrong

“Could someone please help me? I need a little advice…”

I had the opportunity recently to be involved in an online discussion between some different natural health care entrepreneurs (mainly women… who run their own skin care businesses or are currently working to build one). A member of the group  (through which everyone collaborates to answer questions, and offer support, suggestions, advice, etc.) had asked a specific question about something pertaining to her products. And since I understood her question well, I left a short comment.

But a short while later it came to my attention that well over a dozen other women had taken this opportunity to start a heated debate. And in fact, the debate centered around my small piece of advice (which, unknown to me at that time, happens to be a *very* controversial topic in our health world). No one cared about answering the question this lady had posted! They were all too busy stating their own opinions and arguments about my one little comment – whether or not I was right or wrong.

Every one had their own opinion… and each of them believed that they were right

What started out as a friendly conversation between a few ladies turned into a contentious argument with name-calling, rude terms, and words stretched out extra long for extreme emphasis. One comment reminded me of the way a very small child cries out “Nooooooooooooo!” when they don’t get their way. Only these were grown women.

kids-fighting-over-toy

“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” – Philippians 2:3

We will never be “all there”, or have the right to look down on someone else who has a different opinion…

We are up against a world of people with mixed opinions and beliefs. And especially in the natural health-care world the small majority of us who are studying herbal and alternative medicine may find ourselves getting “hit over the head” by the “big professionals” who see things differently. And then there are those who have been trained or taught to form certain beliefs with no solid basis as to why, and maybe they are ignorantly sharing what they believe to be true with anyone and everyone they come in contact with.

And then… there is the humbling reality that each and every single one of us will never be “all there”. We will never reach the top of learning! We will never have the right to judge or look down on someone else who has a different opinion than we do. And we may in fact be very wrong at times – or simply flat out ignorant. 🙂

Arguing with others will usually get us nowhere… as I shockingly witnessed that day. I chose not to be a part of the growing debate because it was not going in a healthy or positive direction to help anyone. But there is a place to share what we are learning and what we know to be right. And there are the people who ask for advice – whether they take it or not is up to them.

_MG_0504

Answering a question is one thing… but initiating a “teaching moment” to someone who has not welcomed your counsel can cause unwanted barriers in relationships.

Motives are a key here.

Today we were reading Proverbs 15 as a family. And verse 28 really stood out to me, especially as I’m studying to be a Health Educator and Herbalist.

“The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.”

This was incredibly convicting to me. Because there is such wisdom in knowing when to remain silent, or when to share. For example Proverbs 25:4 and 5, 2 verses that are back to back and almost seem to contradict each other. But for each there is a place and a time.

And I was challenged to ask myself, “Do I study to answer? Or do I foolishly pour out whatever I think or reason to be true?” Because as I learned through this situation, sharing and explaining can easily (even without realizing it!) become “I’m right and you’re wrong, so get it together so you’re knowledgable like the rest of us.”

It’s a given in life that no matter who you are, what you do, or what you’re trying to accomplish – you can’t please everyone. In fact, like myself, you may find yourself a part of a very small majority, who view things quite opposite from the rest of the world. And that’s perfectly okay. But we’re ALL still capable of being ignorant, deceived, and just plain wrong. {Even if we really seek to know what’s right and do it!} 🙂

It’s okay to be wrong!

It’s okay to be wrong. It’s okay to mess up. And guess what! I can personally speak for both. This very incident challenged me to dig deeper and ask “Is this something I know to be true, or something that I’ve heard that I chose to believe at some point?”

And I realized that there were some things that were not quite straight in my mind! Things I needed to check myself on and ask others about and refresh my thinking on. Is this right? How does this work? Why does that happen? … and if they’re saying this, how did they interpret that from my comment, because maybe next time I need to write that differently? Or maybe they’re right and it doesn’t happen quite exactly as I pictured it, so I need to understand this better before sharing more on it…

IMGP0026 (3)

What you or I think doesn’t really matter. What is right and true is what ultimately matters.

I think that all of us want to believe the truth, even if we have to humble ourselves to change the way we’ve been thinking “all along” … and sometimes that means saying “Oh you are so right! And I was wrong. Sorry! I had never heard that really explained in depth, or researched it on my own… I had never fully understood it for all that it was to be and now I see it differently! So thanks for enlightening me!”

“And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” – Matthew 23:12

It’s okay to share with someone else who might be ignorant or deceived – gently and kindly. But why should we waste our time carelessly debating {in vain!} these things out? And I can vouch for the truth of this statement:

No one wants to feel like they’re stupid because of their ignorance, or failure to fully understand something the right way.

IMG_5501-283x425

But what is the truth?

It’s far too common in life to say “this is what’s right” because I’ve heard something that I reason to be true in our mind. It’s a given that if I read enough opinions online I can easily “take sides” with whatever majority does their best at “displaying” something.

Sometimes the truth is a tiny fragment that’s overlooked by the rest of the world.

It’s something left undiscovered by those who have all followed the crowd. It’s easy to get lost in the popular viewpoints and forget about making new discoveries.

_MG_1814

And this is one very beautiful things about herbal and alternative medicine. It’s looking at the things God created {not just defaulting to man-made chemical drugs and methods} for the good of our bodies, and learning how to use them and WHY, to make a difference in lives. This is so backward to our “system” today.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.” – Isaiah 55:8

They told me that I was not finished… and that I never would be.

The evening I graduated from Highschool {July 2012} was a very memorable time for me. One thing stands out that I know I’ll never forget – my dad and mom’s blessings to me, their charge, and what they told me about always striving to learn more.

I’ll never be done learning. I’ll never “be there”, or “reach the top” or “have it all together”, no matter how hard I strive or how well I excel. And this is true for all of us. We should not pride ourselves in being higher than those around us, because we think we “know it all”.

It’s amazing how one small piece of advice {an answer to a simple question} can impact a life. This has really changed my perspective. How easily we can get caught up in strife and debates. How simple it is to “make me look good and you look bad” all in the name of proving our point or “beating it in” to someone else who doesn’t see what I see. And how worthless our endeavors to share truth, when don’t share in love, with a tender heart that seeks to serve others and help them grow.miniskirtninja

“And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth met nothing.” – I Corinthians 13:2-3

I’d Like to Challenge You – no matter who you are, or what you do from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep at night, or where you’re heading in life.

Why do you believe what you believe? Is it because you know it to be the truth and have experienced its life changing effects… or because you read enough opinions and heard enough stories to say “it sounds right so it must be right“.

Do you take opportunities to share with people in love, and with a helpful attitude? Or do you have a bad habit of getting into unwanted debates and strife… initiating those unwanted teaching moments where you (perhaps unconsciously) elevate yourself above others who now feel rejected and looked down upon?

Do you find it difficult to say “I was wrong.” Or are you open to really seeking to know the truth, and are you readily willing to listen and see from the perspective of those who disagree with you – in order to better understand where they are coming from and what you might possibly be overlooking?

Do you find yourself thinking “I’ve got this mastered!” Or do you realize the more you learn, how very much more you do not know!?

Do you wake up each morning excited about meeting people and their needs, serving them, touching their lives? Or do you do your job because you need a steady income, and because “once upon a time” you thought you love it and would be great at it for life?

Have you been deceived into “following the crowd” or are you open to seeking out the truth because you know it is missing – even if it takes you on a lifelong journey to discover what others have been avoiding and rejecting all along?

Seek out wisdom & knowledge…

We are all in on this incredible crazy journey together! It’s wonderful and exciting. But it is also challenging! And today I’m purposing to ask myself “What is the truth and how can I share it in love?” as I continue on in my studies, relationships, and the work around me. It’s easy to think that I know what’s right and best. But do I know and believe the truth? And I am seeking to learn and understand, to grow in wisdom and knowledge, where there are unanswered questions? And will I then go on to share that with a heart full of love and compassion? Because that is the only way to bless the people around me.

untitled-1879-2

I don’t know it all. Ah… far from it! The more I learn the more I realize how very little I know. And today I’m encouraged to check my heart and make sure that what I share with others (through this blog, through email exchange, through phone conversations…) is said humbly, and in a way that is open to hearing new information, and seeing fresh perspectives! Being a health educator will NEVER mean that I am finished learning, or that I won’t need to be corrected by someone else who understands something better than I do. And that is a beautiful thing – the realization that we can ALL share with one another – each of us is gifted with different skills and knowledge that we can use to encourage one another.

“The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.” – Proverbs 15:33

Advertisements

One thought on “It’s Okay to be Wrong

  1. Thanks for your words of wisdom. I have felt the same way on occasion, and I hope that your experience does not weigh on you. I believe that when you know yourself well, you are able to respond in wisdom and prudence. Have a great day!

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

Share your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s