Creative Leadership

The Destructive Power of Being Sincerely Wrong

Being wrong is one thing.  Being over-confident in your wrongness is something else entirely.  On my blog, on film sets, and in meetings, I often  encounter people who are spectacularly wrong, and yet enormously confident. It happens to the best of people. In the New Testament book of Matthew chapter 16, Jesus was foretelling His future to the disciples. It was far darker than they expected, and Peter tried to correct Him:

“From that time on Jesus began to explain to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that He must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. ‘Never, Lord!’ he said. ‘This shall never happen to You!’ Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.'”*

Peter meant well. He Loved Jesus and refused to believe He would actually suffer and die. So he not only argued with Jesus, the scripture says he actually “rebuked” him. But he was sincerely wrong.

Know anyone like that?  They don’t see the bigger vision, don’t have all the information, or don’t understand the possibilities. They mean well, but will argue their wrong point to the death.

So you don’t become that guy, here’s another perspective:  When you think you’re absolutely right, realize there could be other options. Even when it comes to our confidence in scripture, understand that we still “see through a glass darkly” and don’t see the whole picture. Be gracious. There’s a significant difference in being confident, and needing to be right. Especially when it comes to creative decisions, allow a little room for discovery. Fortunately, I’ve surrounded myself with people who aren’t afraid to puncture the balloon of my self-confidence, and I can’t express how healthy that is for me.

Perhaps most of all, lose the fear of being wrong.  That fear has driven people to do horrible things in the name of Truth. We are all imperfect people, struggling to find our way in the world.

So let’s all be a little more open, kind, and gracious.  If we can do that, I think we’ll be amazed at what we begin to see….

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One Comment

  1. Your final paragraph: “So let’s all be a little more open, kind, and gracious. If we can do that, I think we’ll be amazed at what we begin to see…” speaks volumes Phil. That attitude being exhibited would change a whole lot of actions.

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