How many times in your life have you eaten crow? If you’ve never heard this expression before- don’t worry and don’t call PETA. “Eating crow is an American colloquial idiom, meaning humiliation by admitting wrongness or having been proven wrong after taking a strong position.”¬†(wiki) In other words, it’s having to admit you were wrong when it’s OH SO HARD to do.
It seems to me that, as believers, we sometimes have an incredibly difficult time admitting our errors. I think this is partially due to the fact that we have tricked ourselves into believing that Christians should know better than to make stupid mistakes. The problem with that line of thinking is that we’re human… all of us… yes, you screw up too. Our human nature clings to pride more stubbornly than thighs to last night’s grande burrito. We think that, somehow, if we have to admit we are wrong then we will be viewed as less of a person. I don’t know about you- but I have so much more respect and esteem for someone who can step up boldly and admit they were wrong than one who fights tooth and nail for “correctness”.
Want to know a secret? We don’t always have to be right. WHAT?! Yeah, I know- this coming from the mouth of a Type A, perfectionist, who wanted to be a lawyer at one point in her life. It’s true though; in fact, admitting
personal imperfection is a sign of growth and maturity. Seriously, it is not a shocker to anyone that you are not perfect (me either… don’t get in a tizzy). As Christians- it shows so much more sincerity and humility, adding so much more weight to our individual testimonies, when we can fess up to things.
Let’s see what God says about this:
…clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. (1 Peter 5:5)
For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†(Luke 14:11)
I think that one of the hardest times to admit fault is one another person was hurt… physically or emotionally. Taking on the responsibility of another individual’s well-being is a heavy load to bear. However, that is exactly what we are called to do. We are to honor one another, take on each other’s burdens, and confess our wrongdoing to each other.
Bear one another‚Äôs burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. (Galatians 6:2-3)
Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. (James 5:16)
Our society today pushes us to think that we need no one, that whatever we feel is right is TRULY right, and that it’s our job to assert that on others. Jesus never said this. The world around us promotes selfishness, pride, greed, and stubborn argumentativeness while the humble, meek, and loving are regarded as weak. Yet, in order for us to truly understand the amazing benefits and blessing that comes from sharing our lives and love with others, we must be willing to confess our mistakes and lean on each other with forgiveness and grace.
It may sound really hard these days… but there’s a trick to it all. The trick is, to realize we’re not fooling anyone. No one in this world believes we’re perfect, no one expects us to live our lives and complete correctness, and we are only deceiving ourselves when we think that no one else makes mistakes. If we could truly realize that everyone is in the same fallen/sinful/uh-oh laden boat then we could start to accept and dole out grace a whole lot easier. God knows
our shortcomings and while we try hard everyday to work past them, we’re going to fall. It shouldn’t be scary to admit things to others- it should be freeing. We are in essence showing our vulnerable, human state in order to heal and connect with the other humans we’re called to reach out to. How many bridges could you repair simply by admitting a fault? How many hurt feelings could be mended by owning up to YOUR PART of a conflict? (Something to remember when it comes to Christian clashes: even if you were mostly right- no one wins when someone loses.)
Don’t be afraid to be human; you’re not fooling anyone anyway.