Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wishy-Washy (and proud of it!)

Is there anyone more detestable than a certified "flake"?  You know what I mean -- the wishy-washy sort who appears a certain way in one group of people and then acts completely different in another setting.  Or what about that person who appears to not have a developed opinion on anything?  ("Gee...I don't know...I'm just not sure about that...what do you think?")  These people drive me crazy!

Wait a minute...I might be one of those people.  Well, not quite like that, but I do reserve the right to change my mind at any time on any given matter.  I have opinions, but I frequently change them.  Knowing this, it's typically a prudent measure to not be so openly opinionated.  Otherwise, I look foolish and not one to be taken seriously if I change my opinions as often as I change my underwear.  (Hmmmm, perhaps having a blog isn't such a good idea after all.)

N. T. Wright in his book Justification explaining why he has written a book to respond to his critics:
"And, critics please note, I do not expect to remain unchanged through that process.  I am not defending against all comers a fortress called the new perspective.  I hope not just to make things clearer than I have done before, but to see things clearer than I have done before as a result of having had to articulate it all once more.  Perhaps if I succeed in seeing things more clearly I may succeed in saying them more clearly as well."  (page 28)
I appreciate Wright's humility in stating that he is going to stick to his guns, but does not expect to remain unchanged in doing so.  I find this to be an admirable position to take and one I hope to emulate as I formulate my own opinions on weighty matters.

"Wishy-washy" sounds so bad.  But what is the opposite of being wishy-washy?  Stubborn -- also a very negative adjective to describe one's personality.  Is there a middle ground between the two that would be marginally more respectable?

I have flip-flopped on so many issues in just the last year that I am beginning to worry about my sanity.  For example, I used to bristle anytime the theological topics of predestination and/or Calvinism were brought up in my presence.  After some study, I came to a point where I embraced those very concepts that had previously frustrated me.  Lo and behold, I am now questioning those things again (albeit for much different reasons than before).

My pastor once told me that I had my whole life to love my wife, and that loving her over the long haul would involve learning more about her each and every day.  Whether it be loving your spouse or following Jesus, I do not believe we are ever going to figure out the perfect way of doing these things.  As many people now like to say, it is a journey.  We learn and even in that, I believe that learning is a process.  Just because we may have learned something wrong at one point does not mean that there was no benefit or nothing to learn from it.  On the contrary, it is those things which we are in the dark about that pushes us to grow (even if we don't realize we are in the dark).

I hope to grow, to learn, to move from one place in life to another with the freedom and courage to let go of those things which are keeping me in a more static state.  I know I am susceptible to pride and arrogance.  These are the qualities which lead me to believe that I have things figured out when I'm nowhere close to the truth of the matter.  I want to throw off stubbornness and put on humility.  I think I'll just be proud of the fact that I am now wishy-washy.

Oops.  Oh well...

Bibliography: Justification; Velvet Elvis