Tag Archives: repent

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)

Let’s Fix the Problem

Story of the Day for Friday June 3, 2011

Let’s Fix the Problem


                  Look what this godly sorrow has worked in you. . . 

                                                                               2 Corinthians 7:11


Craig Brian Larson tells the stories I would like to pass on today.

New York’s Citicorp skyscraper was completed in 1977.   Structural engineers hailed the work of architect, William LeMessurier, as they praised this seventh tallest building in the world.

But a year after the building opened, LeMessurier noticed a frightening error.  Certain joints in the superstructure had been bolted.  Nothing wrong with that, except that LeMessurier had neglected to calculate the extra force of a non-perpendicular wind.  He learned that, once every 16 years, a wind comes along which would be strong enough to collapse the joint on the 13th floor.

No one knew about his mistake. If LeMessurier admitted the error, he could face lawsuits, bankruptcy, and disgrace.  LeMessurier took a deep breath and informed city officials.  Welding, costing several million dollars, began immediately and in three months the structure was pronounced one of the safest structures ever built.

And LeMessurier?  Rather than seeing his career in ruins, his reputation soared.  One engineer praised LeMessurier for having the courage to say, “I got a problem. I made the problem.  Let’s fix the problem.”


When we recognize and admit our sin, we usually experience a time of sadness.  We feel a genuine sorrow for how we have failed God and how we have hurt others.

But repentance lifts us out of the pit of sorrow.  Jesus has come to inspect the sorry mess we have created, and to forgive us.  How do you describe the utter relief that comes from being released from your sins?


When a child wanders from the path his parents tell him to take and winds up falling into a deep pit, it is comforting to know his parents will come looking for him.  It is more comforting to know that they are more concerned than angry.  But the greatest relief is in knowing that they will do anything to help us climb out of the pit.

The final step, however, is the determination to stay on the trail and avoid the pit.

In 1989, University of Michigan basketball player, Rumeal Robinson stepped to the foul line late in the game.  Down by one point, his two shots could put them back in the lead.  He missed them both and Wisconsin won an upset victory.

Robinson felt bad that his two missed shots cost his team the game.  But he didn’t leave it at that.  He “repented.”  He determined that he would work to become better at shooting free throws and began shooting 100 extra foul shots after each practice.

The University of Michigan made it to the national championship game.  With three seconds left, Rumeal was fouled and went to the free throw line with two shots.  First shot, swish.  Second shot, swish, and the Michigan Wolverines were national champions.

Repentance leads us to good places.

                                                            (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)