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It’s Okay to Change Your Answer

Story of the Day for Wednesday March 28, 2012

It’s Okay to Change Your Answer

  Just as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

Proverbs 27:17

The secret to becoming more Christ-like is, oddly enough, to behave in a way that Christ never did.

Even though Jesus was often criticized for his behavior, he never admitted he was wrong. That’s because he was never wrong.

In our case, however, not much is going to happen in our lives until we learn to listen to the criticisms of others and admit when we’re wrong.

If you’re thinking, “Okay, but I’m seldom wrong when others criticize me,” then you’ve come to the right place, because I intend to show you that you’re . . .wrong. Let’s start with this: suppose you’re taking a test and then go back and change your answer. Is your changed answer more likely to improve your score?  Three quarters of college students say no – your changed answer is more likely to be incorrect.  Professors feel the same way, only more so.  Only 16% of professors believe that changing your initial answer on a test will improve your score.

Guess what? They’re wrong. Researchers have been studying this subject for over 70 years now. One researcher examined 33 different studies on this question and every study agreed: students who change an answer on a test are more likely to improve their score.

So, why do the majority of people still favor their initial answer as the correct one?  Could it point to a deeper issue?  Could it be that we have an aversion to admitting that we were wrong in something we did?  Could it be that we are so enamored with our views and opinions that we are reluctant to admit we’re wrong?  That’s what it seems like.

If we want to grow into the image of Christ, we must stop being so impressed with ourselves.  Our focus must not be in defending how right we are, but in admitting how wrong we are.  Only a humble heart can admit faults.  Only one who admits his faults can know how good it feels to have Jesus forgive him.

Do you know what I do when others point out flaws in my character?  My first instinct is to defend myself.   But I cannot grow from the correction of others until I begin by considering the possibility they are probably right.

Darn it.

Others can see faults in us to which we are blind.  We need to listen, evaluate, repent . . . and know that it is okay to “change our answer.”

Yeah, yeah, I realize there are many times when those who criticize us are wrong.   But they aren’t wrong as often as we think.

We aren’t going to make much progress in our spiritual life until we learn that others can see things in ourselves that we cannot.

                                              (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)