I don’t know anyone who wants to “get it wrong.” Seriously. I haven’t met one, yet. But, the inner pressure of “getting it right” can be a major obstacle to “getting it right” not to mention a major “joy kill” in life.
I know whereof I speak from a bucket full of years of life experience. If you’ll permit, I’d like to quickly share some helpful things I’ve discovered along the way.
Here are three of the most common phrases that identify the inner critic (or criticizer); Or, as the Bible labels, “the accuser.” I’ve thought, said, and heard others voice them:
- “I may not be right”
- “Don’t get me wrong, but”
- “I was wrong”
I may not be right…
It my experience, when a statement is prefaced with, “I may not be right…” it demonstrates an emphasis on the fact that the person (including myself) is unsure and overly focused on the possibility of being wrong.
But that sounds like humility, doesn’t it? It could be, but usually isn’t. It’s an unnecessary preface. It also may indicate being overly occupied with what someone thinks of you. Let me suggest a better alternative. Preface with, “This is what I’ve been thinking. What do you think?”
Don’t get me wrong, but…
These words telegraph the fact that there’s something to follow that emphasizes a negative. If someone starts a statement to you with, “Don’t get me wrong, but…” they’ve given themselves permission to “adjust” you. It’s really not good form, and I believe I can safely say that the Holy Spirit will never bring you correction by starting with the thought, “Don’t get me wrong, but…” If or when it happens to you, choose not to be offended. Just realize the person hasn’t learned effective communication and is probably just as negative on themselves (at least internally).
In my experience, the person that says that tends to be more negatively oriented in their life. Sometimes they feel it’s their God-given duty to be a “correcter of the brethren.”
Instead of going down a rabbit trail here, suffice it to say that the words, “Don’t get me wrong, but…” needs to be discarded in our conversations. Starting with your dialogue.
I was wrong…
A friend of mine shared this experience with me. He said, “One day I had just realized that I had been incorrect in how I had been thinking and acting on a matter. The Lord had been dealing with me. I said, “Oh, Lord, I was wrong!”
Sounds like a good confession, right? The Lord, apparently didn’t think so, because He responded to my friend in a still small voice, “Suffice it to say, I was right.”
Here’s the deal. I believe it’s a really.big.deal to God. Since He re-created us Right(eous) in Christ Jesus, His desire is that we emphasis “rightness” in our thinking and speaking. He was telling my friend that he didn’t need to say, “I was wrong.” The only thing really necessary was to recognize that the Lord is always right. So, here’s the best confession:
“Lord, You were right. You’re always right!”
Since I’ve been putting these words into practice with God and with others, I’ve been increasingly discovering fresh vistas of relationship with God and others.
Btw…when appropriate, words should be added, “You were right, forgive me.”
Hope that helps. If it did, leave a comment of your experience or questions. You may also want to share this on your Facebook friends list, or tweet. It may a blessing to them as well.
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