We’ll also call this post Waffle-Eating Waffle Heads, just for fun.
Changing your mind might not be a sign of a weak position.
In politics we view with disdain a candidate changing his/her position on an issue. It is sometimes seen as a weakness or lack of understanding of political complexities. However, the ability to hold a new and opposing position alongside one already believed is actually an indicator of a growing ability to reason (maybe not in politics, since how much actual reason is used in that arena??).
There are a lot of people who cannot do this. Tons of them.
There are many people who, once they come to a conclusion, are unwilling to hear about anything that contradicts that conclusion.
You run into this a lot in Christian circles.
Take for example, the topic of women in leadership.
Many people have feelings about this. Feelings they hold deeply because the implications of changing a view affects their world with a ripple, like fluffing air under a sheet when you’re making the bed.
If women have a right to be in leadership, what positions of leadership? Is there a top end? Is it an arbitrary top end or is there Biblical evidence for it? Could there be a female Pope? What about women in leadership roles outside the church? Oh no, is this going to affect my interactions with that woman in middle management at work, the one I’ve given passive aggressive attitude all these years? Will this have implications for the way I parent with my spouse? You know what? Forget it. Entertaining this new idea is too much work.
Too much work.
And it is work, but remember what that used to be like? Try to remember times when the world was opening up to you, when you found out about new ideas, more efficient strategies for organizing information, totally world-changing theories or worldviews that you had to work to understand. It was at once an exciting and threatening time, because your previously held views were being challenged.Why do adults think that once they hit a certain age their thoughts and beliefs must be set in cement?
I understand that it is important to know ones values and figure out the main tenants of your approach to life. But in the details, in the subtle ways our thoughts inform our attitudes, isn’t it fair to think there could be continued maturation and growth?
Rather than being intimidated or threatened by new ideas, I really think it is healthy to allow yourself to entertain new concepts. Just considering a new idea or belief doesn’t make you a heretic nor does it disvalue the beliefs you already hold. It does show evidence of a mature intellect that can see the merit in something that was previously unknown or misunderstood. You might be shocked to learn that in many instances…
People who hold beliefs that are different than yours hold those beliefs for a reason, often reasons that are as well-thought-out as the beliefs you hold.
I’m a big believer in conversations. We can all learn something from talking to other people, finding out what they think and why. New ideas don’t have to be scary or intimidating, and they can even solidify the reasons why you hold the beliefs you do.
On that note, let’s talk! What changes have you had in your approach to the world? In what ways have you changed your mind over time?