“Think it possible ye may be mistaken.”
Those words were uttered by Oliver Cromwell in the 17th century. This Lent we are focusing on the possibilities that emerge when we admit that we are wrong. Admitting that we are wrong is something that people have struggled with for a long time!
Oliver Cromwell said these words just before the Battle of Dunbar. He won that battle after a very tough fight; but he wrote to his opponents before the fighting began, trying to get them to accept a peaceful resolution to the conflict. These were his words, written in a letter to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1650.
I beseech ye in the bowels of Christ, think it possible ye may be mistaken.
How many wars could have been averted if his words had been taken seriously? How many relationships saved? How many communities strengthened?
Cromwell said it to his enemies on the eve of battle. I wonder if he ever said it to himself. Asking our enemies to reconsider their position is an easy task. Doing the hard work of self-examination – challenging our own deeply cherished opinions – now that sounds like hard work. That sounds like rewarding work.
What would our lives look like if we considered the vague possibility that when we disagree with people it is we and not they who might be mistaken?
May God grant us the strength and courage to do just that – as individuals, as a church, as a community, and as a nation.
What are the barriers to admitting our mistakes?
What is the difference between being right and getting it right?
-Written by Rev. Amy Miracle
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