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  • Writer's pictureSylvia St. Cyr

What If I Get It Wrong?

Updated: Feb 15, 2023

Over the past few months, my son and I have had these huge conversations that always starts with a big question of his. I have enjoyed these times thoroughly, as it not only brings us closer together, but it’s also made me look into things, mostly my faith, in a deeper, more meaningful way.

One of his most recent questions to me was this.

“Mom, a year ago you said a certain way to share your hope with others was the best. Then, recently you said you learned a new way. If you change your mind about something, how can you feel confident to share at all?”

In a nutshell, “What if you get it wrong?”

I think that this is a question a lot of believers in Christ struggle with. If someone asks you about your faith, what if you don’t have the answer? Or what if the answer you give is unsatisfying?

What if what you shared a year ago wasn’t the whole truth? What if in ten years you look back on today and see flaws and errors in what you’re talking about? These sorts of questions can lead to great fear, which can lead us to not talk at all.

My son constantly keeps me thinking and researching things. I believe strongly that when we ask big questions and search for the answers with our whole heart, we will be led to the truth. Why do I believe this?

Matthew 7:7 says, “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.”

Why do I believe any of it? I thought that as a parent the constant “why” question was a two-year-old kind of phase. I was wrong about that too! Before it was “Why do I have to go to bed?” Now it’s something like, “Why did Jesus have to die on a cross?”

If you have ever found yourself afraid to share your heart, your questions, your concerns, or your faith with others because of this question (what if I get it wrong?), I’d like to share a few thoughts. Mostly because I have been thinking about this question a lot myself recently.

  1. You will get it wrong

The fact of the matter is, we are human. We do what we can with what we have. You would never scold a child for saying “Why is your tummy so big?” when a woman is pregnant, because you know the motive is not malicious, but rather simply curious. When we know better, the hope is we do better, but we still allow ourselves to make mistakes and to try again.

2. You will not always have an answer

That is okay. We have to go into having big conversations knowing that even though we do not have all the answers to many, many questions, it doesn’t mean we can’t search them out. We can also share an experience we had relating to the topic. Your testimony carries great power, so don’t believe the lies that tell you “You have no idea what you’re talking about, so just shut up!”

3. When in doubt, go back to the basics

When Jesus was asked to boil down all the laws into one, He chose to share two. Essentially, love God and love people. If your aim is to do these two things, you must be on the right track! I believe that we can absolutely disagree with people, even on fundamental issues, and yet respect the person in front of us. When we disagree well, we builds bridges.

4. Be open minded and listen

No matter how much knowledge you have, you can always learn something new. Listen, not for the sake of answering, but rather to hear someones heart. Perhaps someone was put into your life to teach you a beautiful life lesson, even if it may hurt a little. When we go into a situation that we’re not used to with an open mind, covered in prayer, and focusing on the intrinsic value of the person in front of us, we will learn something new.

5. Intentions matter

Ask yourself, why am I engaging in this conversation? If the answer is ever, “To be right!” then it’s not going to be productive conversation, nor show them that you can disagree well. Like the little child who asked the lady about her big tummy, his thoughts were pure. He wasn’t trying to bring her down but rather learn.

6. Pray, pray, and pray some more

At the beginning of this year, I started learning about Apologetics. Before I started taking any of these courses, I thought my knowledge base was at least bigger than nothing. But as time goes on, I see that this will take a lifetime, as there is so very much to learn. When I engage in a big conversation on a hard topic, covering the time and responses in prayer, and asking God to give me the words to say, makes the world of a difference. It’s all about Him and His love anyway!

This world is filled with enough negativity and whining. If you or I learn something new that brings us great joy and life, let’s not be afraid to share it!

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