Weatherford Democrat

Viewpoints

August 24, 2012

COLUMN: Changing our minds

— One of the most important capabilities that we have as human beings is the capacity to change our minds. When used with care, the ability to change our minds is a gift of grace that frees us from bondage and opens our lives to the future. Where would we be today if we had been locked into some of our past decisions?

It often takes great courage to change our minds, not only because of the consequences but also because of our need to be liked and accepted by those with whom we’ve previously agreed. We may not want to be labeled as “wishy-washy.” As a result, we get ourselves in deeper and make any retreat more difficult.

We need to be able to change our minds because circumstances change — the flow of life takes us to unexpected places that call for different solutions. Our knowledge also changes and expands – more light reveals better options. The needs of those in our care change, requiring different forms of love. And, thank God, people change!

Being able and willing to change our minds is also necessary because of our ignorance – none of us, individually or together, is all-knowing. As Paul, whose life was altered on the Damascus Road, reminds us, “we know in part ... we see through a glass darkly ... in our youth (when many of our assumptions are made), we think like children.” As a result, some of our decisions are based on inadequate conclusions and need to be corrected later.  

Our faith cannot help but be involved. While Jesus had much to say about commitment, allegiance, and staying true to our word, he had just as much to say about the need to sometimes change our minds. He often called his hearers to “repent,” which literally means “to change one’s mind” or “to reverse one’s former position.” It’s worth noting that his plea for a change of heart and mind was made not only to tax-collectors and sinners, but also to the Scribes and Pharisees, the most avid keepers of the Mosaic Law.

Two of Jesus’ best known parables commend people who changed their minds. The so-called prodigal son “came to himself” in the far country and turned his face toward home (Luke 15:11). And there was the story of the two sons who were asked by their father to work in his vineyard. One agreed but didn’t follow through; the other refused but later changed his mind and did what his father asked (Matt. 21:28).

Some of the Bible’s strongest warnings are reserved for those whose lives were marked by stubbornness, closed minds, and hardened hearts.

It’s a mark of strength and integrity when a leader, minister, politician, parent, teacher, child, or any other human being can say, with good reason, that they’ve changed their mind. “No one stands taller,” said William Safire, “than those willing to stand corrected.”

The late United Nation’s Secretary Dag Hammarskjöld began his book “Markings” — the notes from his journey — with a striking quote from Meister Eckhart: “Only the hand that erases can write the true thing.” An eraser is as important in life as a sharp pencil — or, in modern terms, “delete” as “save.”

Lord, soften our hearts and open our minds. Amen.

1
Text Only
Viewpoints
  • tiscione, lou.jpg TISCIONE: Do the right thing!

    We seem to be constantly bombarded with complicated situations that call for making an informed decision. Of course, generally, all would want to do the right thing.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0912 one bday wm j kelly 2013 mug.jpg KELLY: What do you think?

    American Profile Magazine pictured Big Tex in its feature about state fairs with the appropriate caption: “Big Tex towers over visitors to the Texas State Fair.” The article also wrote about the many famous wooden roller coasters including the “Classic” wood roller coaster.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: I have been corrected

    I was complaining about President Obama making promises that he has not kept, such as taxes will not go up one dime or health care will go down about $2,500 per year for a family of four. He said he would cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. He said he would have an immigration plan in place. What he really meant was that if Congress would allow it, we would have open borders.

    July 29, 2014

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Concern for your pocketbooks

    Dear Editor: My message today is to Democrats out in Parker County and the middle class and moderate-income Republicans in towns and rural areas. 

    July 27, 2014

  • larry jones cropped:color NOW HEAR THIS: Taking care of your tools

    For much of my life I’ve heard the saying, “Take care of your tools, and your tools will take care of you.”  In our modern “throw away world” this has become much less important than it used to be, but down on the “pore farm,” tools still enjoy a prominent position in my daily life.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • PASTOR POPHIN: The greatest joy of all: Jesus

    The first part of this week was a joyous one for me. I took 10 youth to Lake Mineral Wells State Park for three days of day camping. Camp Adventure was the name of the camp. We discovered the joy of the One who created us: Jesus. I am sitting at my desk on the day after the camp writing this article. I am overjoyed by the events of the week, and yet I am physically exhausted. The Lord moved powerfully among our youth.

    July 26, 2014

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Now is the time for all good men...

    When man’s greed, desire for riches, power and control of our nation become greater than their love of humanity and our country, by constantly fomenting discord and hate among the citizens, warmongering and constantly talking of wars against other nations - it is putting political ideology before the welfare of citizens and country. It is time for We the People to take a good look at these men involved - no matter their status in our nation, we call the United States of America and decide whether or not they deserve the privilege and sanctuary of our nation.

    July 25, 2014

  • tiscione, lou.jpg TISCIONE: Finding a church

    God commands His people to “keep holy the Sabbath Day.” The “Sabbath Day” was changed by the apostolic church to the first day, Sunday. The church refers to every Sunday as the Lord’s Day. Each Lord’s Day is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Therefore, a professing Christian will seek to find a local church in which to invest in the kingdom and worship the King! 

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Paul Carter-color.jpg NOTES FROM THE JOURNEY: What’s your current address?

    Shortly after we moved to Weatherford 19 years ago, the old post office (today’s Court Building) that was literally bursting at the seams was replaced by a new, larger facility – our present mail center that sometimes seems outgrown as we stand in line to buy stamps or mail a package.  

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Good company, better service

    We would like to thank Devin’s Handyman Service, Gary Boase, David Schramm and James Reed for the wonderful job they did repainting our front fence, front porch, back porch, patio and deck. Everything looks new and makes such a difference in our home.

    July 23, 2014

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction