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Embrace Flip-Flopping

Every election cycle in almost every debate one, or all of the the people running for office has accused their opponent of being a "flip-flopper". That is at one point in their life they publicly held to one view on an issue, but have since changed their mind and now hold to another. And that in the mind of their accuser is an example of poor judgement, inconsistent thinking, or an outright lie.

They may be wrong. If it not a lie, it could be a sign of maturity!

"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me." I Corinthian 13:11

Every Christian, every person on earth once believed some things they no longer believe. As humans mature we learn new information, have new experiences and responsibilities. All these cause us at times to shed things we once believe to be true in order to adopt new ideas, or more fully developed ideas which appear to be "more true" or better for us and others. It's called growing up, or maturing. It's not a vice, or weakness. It's what rational thoughtful people do as they mature.

Now if people change their views, just to get elected, or just to get a job that's not flip-flopping. They are either being a liar or are deceitful. I'll vote all day for men or women who have the courage to mature in their thinking. But in just this past election I chose not for vote for people who I thought were lying just to get someones vote, or endorsement.

As Christians Paul reminds us in these verses that any Christian who doesn't mature in their thinking is like an infant.

"In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil." Hebrews 5:12-14

So, how does this work in real life? There was a time in my life that I looked down on Christians who had different theological views than I did. But when I studied why they believed what they believed, I may not have changed my mind, but I no longer thought my views were biblical and theirs were not. I found I had greater appreciation for some of these people who loved God and took the Bible seriously. That has enabled me to embrace charismatics and some Episcopalians and Catholics as my brothers in Christ that I wouldn't have done 30 years ago.

Don't be afraid to open your mind, or change it if the Holy Spirit teaches you something new. Always test it against the Bible, if possible. God still has the last word! But a teachable Christian is joy to meet. Over the years I've learned to embrace more mystery in my faith than certainty. It's not only good for your mind. It's good for your heart!

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