Bombings at the Boston Marathon. Conspiracy to attack a Via Rail train in Toronto, Canada. Two recent news stories placing the spotlight on individuals who believed – and who quite possibly still believe – that they were right in their convictions and actions.
Sincerity is overrated. Of course, it’s always preferable to be genuine in what we say or believe but it’s not enough to be sincere. We need to be sincerely right. There are countless examples from the beginning of time of people who were sincere but sincerely wrong.
Every single person who has ever lived has been sincerely wrong more than once. I know I certainly have. Thankfully, the vast majority of us will never be sincerely wrong to the extent that we will plot or do great harm to anyone. But each of us still bears the responsibility of making sure our convictions are right. Even if they never translate to actions, our words alone have the power to do a great deal of harm, simply by wrongly influencing someone else.
I see many people – particularly as they become older – who can’t be taught. They think they know everything they need to know. To their way of thinking, age, time, and experience have given them more than enough knowledge. They have disdain for the thoughts and opinions of anyone younger. They’re not willing to even consider that they might be wrong. They’re sincere but sincerely wrong.
So, that begs the question…
That question is directed at myself as much, if not more, than anyone else. Actually, it’s a question I ask myself semi-regularly. Especially when I hear, see, or read about people who clearly are not. People who made a choice somewhere along the way to discard the right thing to pursue the wrong thing.
I never want to be that person.
And, so I pray often that God will grant me a teachable spirit today and every day for the rest of my life.