“I am wrong.” Those three words may be some of the hardest to utter. With “I am sorry” being even slightly harder to speak. Good parents try to teach their children to say these words in order to form good and godly (if raised in a God-following family) character. These two power packed three word sentences can do a lot to clear up offenses and restore relationships between people and between people and God.
When dealing with the relationship between man and God, acknowledging being wrong is key to our salvation and our continued sanctification. The former is why the Bible tells us repentance is key to our initial salvation (Acts 17:30; 20:21) while the latter is why the Bible emphasizes the need to accurately handle and practice the truth (c.f. 1 Timothy 4:16; 2 Timothy 2:15; Hebrews 5:11-14).
It is along these lines that a quote on page 60 in the November 2009 issue of Christianity Today stood out to me. A semi-anonymous writer made a very insightful comment when responding to the Liveblog on the past CT article, “Correcting the ‘Mistakes’ of TNIV and Inclusive NIV, Translators Will Revise NIV in 2011“. P.K. (the writer) wrote “I am troubled that many seem to think that the Word must conform to the reader, not the other way around. If the Word, rightly translated and handled, offends us, we are wrong.”
P.K. nails too many people’s condition when they handle the word. Due to past traditions, past offenses, social pressures, and pre-salvation viewpoints people tend to change the Bible to fit their ideology rather than allow the Bible to speak to them. It is scary because our fallen sinful nature doesn’t like much in the Bible and we find it necessary to say, “I am wrong” when we allow the Bible to speak for itself. To be able to say, “I don’t understand this” or “I don’t like this” is perfectly fine as long as we then include the proper view that “I am wrong. The Bible is right.” This opens the door for the Lord to give light from His Word, change us on the inside, and conform us to His image. Acknowledging that we are wrong and the Bible is right has marvelous and positive results in a person’s life.