Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Stubborn

So, I can be kind of stubborn. Ornery, even. An ass. Thing is, I'm not sure whether that's a virtue or a vice. Maybe it can be both. When one is right about something, stubbornness can be a handy thing in the face of opposition. And it comes in handy when attempting something difficult that may require a lot of attempts before one succeeds.

Still, it can also be pretty bad. If you're wrong about something, stubbornness may prevent you from seeing it. Being wrong is one thing; everybody's wrong sometimes, everybody screws up. But to be wrong and unable to admit it because you're just stubborn...now you're in real trouble. For instance, it's pretty clear that the Bush administration was wrong about WMD's in Iraq. Fair enough. International intelligence is a tricky thing, and you can't expect perfection, even (or especially) from a president. But to then ignore that wrongness, to not admit mistakes, and then to compound those mistakes...yeah.

I guess you have to find the line between confidence and arrogance. To be confident is good. Steadfast. To not be swayed by others' opinions, to hold onto whatever it is that tells you about truth. Your conscience, your convictions. As a Christian, I believe God Himself whispers in my ear, if I get still enough to hear Him. To be confident in that is a good thing.

But to be arrogant, to ignore the voices around you entirely, to be so sure of yourself you can never admit any wrongdoing, that's dangerous. I believe God speaks to me, but I don't believe i always hear Him right. And I certainly don't believe I'm the only one He talks to. That's arrogance.

I'm hoping I can find the place where I can be confident in who I am without being an arrogant ass.

1 comment:

Friar Tuck said...

That all has to come from inside of you. Somebody is always going to think you are an arrogant ass if you are assertive and confident.

The hardest thing to deal with I think for older folks with the younger crowd is when we think we know it all but have no real life experience.

I shudder to think at how easy I thought ministry could be when I started.

**shakes head**