Monday, July 22, 2024

Retraction and more.


A few weeks ago, I had written an article about how Christianity should influence our politics and I quoted George Washington. Mistakenly, I had quoted our dear beloved 1st President as saying, “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation with God and the Bible.” The actual quote should read thus: “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.”

So, here is my official retraction and correction and hopefully George Washington didn’t spin too much in his grave in Mount Vernon.

Yet what leads me to write this piece isn’t necessarily to correct my error (which should be done regardless) but rather to point out how my blunder eventually came to my attention.

Upon publishing, a dear reader called me and very graciously made me aware of my poor proofreading skills and how by accident, I completely turned Washington’s quote on its head. It was her willingness to take time to reach out to me that made me realize two things: 1) people do actually read what I write and 2) I am very grateful for observant people in my life.

We all need observant people in our lives. It is a common condition in all of us to have blind spots—things we are just oblivious to. It is always the case that blind spots are revealed and how to correct them comes from people willing to be courageous enough to bring them to our attention. Yes, I say that it is courageous because you run the risk of hurting someone’s feelings or making them feel embarrassed. For example, imagine speaking with someone, and you notice that they have something in their teeth. You can ignore it and continue in pleasant conversation until they move onto the next person, all the while that piece of broccoli remains lodged in between their teeth. Imagine how they would feel when they return home that evening, look in the mirror and feel ashamed and wonder why no one told them of their situation. Wouldn’t it have been better to pull them to the side and quietly let them know that they still carry a piece of salad in their choppers? Sure, they may flush with embarrassment for a moment and rush to the restroom to make themselves presentable. I know from experience that they would be grateful for the help. In that situation, a momentary experience of embarrassment and being able to correct the issue is better than an evening of unbeknownst shame.

Not only should we be willing to help others, but we should also be ready to receive correction. Defensiveness is a natural reaction when a blind spot is exposed. However, we must put that aside and see the motive behind the one bringing it to our attention. I admit I have many blind spots, and I have people in my life that help me see them. I could get angry with them or sad when they bring them to my attention, but what good would that do? Rather they are revealing these areas precisely because they care about me. The Bible puts it this way in Proverbs 15:32, “Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains knowledge.”

To the dear saint who helped me with my last article, I thank you. I pray that when given the opportunity, I will be bold enough to help others in that way. In fact, I pray for all of us because, in this world, we definitely need each other. 



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