Bishop Ray W. Chamberlain
Resident Bishop

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bishop's perspective:

Being Wrong When I Know I'm Right

My grandsons recently visited Martha and me in the Episcopal residence. They are hardy boys lively, full of vigor, and a great joy to us.

But one evening we saw several black skid marks on the white kitchen floor. It appeared one of my grandsons had been deliberately making these marks with his shoes. I didn't know which boy had done it, so I called them both in to see the awful looking floor. They both denied responsibility. But I was convinced that one of them had done it.

Then to my astonishment, Caden began to use his shoes to rub away the black marks! It was suddenly obvious that his shoes weren't causing the problem.

Finally Caden suggested, "Papa, I think it's your shoes making the skid marks." I rubbed my shoe over the floor to prove my innocence. But Caden was right. It was my new shoes making those marks.

Jesus expressed concern about people being convinced they are right when they are really wrong. Jesus rebuked the disciples who assumed children were pests. Jesus told those too-big-for-their-britches men that if they wanted to know what God's idea of heaven on earth is, they should become like children. He told the disciples who were judgmental of persons not preaching the correct doctrine to relax. If the preaching was of God, he said, it would flourish. Otherwise, it would perish.

Being convinced we are right about an issue does not mean we are. We are all called to a constant humility while waiting with God in prayer and with one another in honest dialogue. This would be a good way to come to Annual Conference.

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