It’s Okay to Be Wrong

by A.C. Williams @free2Bfearless

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2 ESV)

Did you know that the Earth is flat?

I knew people believed it back in Columbus’s day, but it’s still a thing. People can believe what they want, of course, but when you encounter a Flat-Earther and attempt to prove them wrong, you’ll end up in a debate. No amount of evidence, facts, or shouting will change their minds.

It’s the same with almost every other belief or standard. Even if you can logically prove another person’s beliefs contradict the truth, many times they won’t accept it.

Why?

Well, do you like being wrong?

I don’t.

Nobody does. Being wrong means that we’ve built our lives on a lie. Or that we’ve defined ourselves by something that’s false. Being wrong can hurt others, wreck relationships, and separate friends. But being wrong is the only way we learn what’s right.

We’ve all been wrong at some point in our lives. Maybe we acted on principles that were later proved false. Maybe we treated someone badly because of lies we’d been told about them.

Want to know the truth? It’s okay to be wrong.

So why do we fear it?

Well, social media hasn’t helped us, transforming everyday bullying into an Olympic-level sport. Being wrong is terrifying. And I’m pretty cowardly, to be honest. I don’t like facing the chance that I could be wrong. I hate conflict, and I hate being wrong because somewhere in my soul, I need to always be right.

But I’m not, and neither are you, my friend. No matter what side of the religious or political line you’re standing on. No matter what you believe about the current state of our country and the world. Everyone has the capacity to be wrong, but the truth will always win. Can we just embrace that and give ourselves the space to be wrong so the truth can transform us?

Think about the Apostle Paul. He killed Christians, intent on wiping Christianity off the map, but after an encounter with Jesus, Paul became one of the greatest leaders of the faith. He was wrong. Jesus changed his mind, and Paul changed his direction. The truth transformed him. He wrote: “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 1:12-14 NASB).

What could you be wrong about today?

A person? A relationship? An action? Could you be wrong about what you believe? If you can’t be wrong, how do you know?

Let’s all leave room for the possibility that we could be wrong about what we believe. Don’t give in to the emotions that call us to lash out in fear. Instead, let’s reason through the issues. Let’s test the problem. Let the truth be known honestly, and let the truth transform you.

And you, Jesus-follower, be a safe place. You have access to strength and love that surpasses understanding. Use it and do what you can to live peacefully with the people you don’t agree with.

Everybody in the world has screwed something up. Let’s stop throwing stones at each other and start listening. We all have a lot to learn, but thanks to Jesus, there’s grace enough to cover it.

TWEETABLE
It’s Okay to Be Wrong – encouragement from A.C. Williams @Free2BFearless on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

amy c williams

About the author: A.C. Williams is an author and entrepreneur who loves cats, country living, and all things Japanese. She’d rather be barefoot, and if she isn’t, her socks will never match. She prefers Trixie Belden to Finding FirefliesNancy Drew, wears her watch on the wrong wrist, and Mr. Darcy is her love language. Follow her adventures on social media @free2bfearless.

Join the conversation: Do you remember a time you were proven wrong? How did you respond?

Live God’s Light

by A.C. Williams @Free2BFearless

But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.       1 Peter 2:9 NLT

Have you seen the fish that live at the bottom of the ocean? You want to see something bizarre and weird, those guys are freaky looking. It ain’t right for anything to have that many teeth.

But it’s not just fish. What about animals that only come out at night? Owls, monkeys, armadillos—weird! Beautiful sort of, but strange, alien in their features and survival mechanisms.

They’re nocturnal creatures. Since they live in the darkness, they have features and characteristics that allow them to function and survive at night.

Know what? Human beings don’t have those characteristics. We aren’t designed for the dark. We were made for the light. Otherwise we’d have eyes the size of dinner plates and more creepy glowing teeth than an enchanted chainsaw.

Granted, we begin in darkness, hidden in our mothers’ wombs, but we don’t stay there. When we’re born, we emerge into a world of sensation. Sight and smell and sound and touch—all those senses were out of reach, and in the light of life we get to experience them.

Sound familiar? It should, because emerging from darkness into light isn’t just something that happens in a physical birth. This is what happens when we’re born again.

God called us out of the darkness. He didn’t build us to survive in the shadows; He created us to thrive in His light, and He did it for a specific purpose.

But what does that mean? What does a life in the light look like? Seeking God’s will. Following Jesus. Listening to the Spirit. So many stained-glass idioms that sound wonderful but lack practical application.

We live in interesting times, facing unprecedented challenges. We’re surrounded by the darkness of hate and prejudice, and it feels like it gets stronger every day, while we get weaker. Is it any wonder it seems right to join the angry mobs and shout our perspectives from the rooftops and point accusatory fingers at the people we feel deserve the blame?

But doesn’t that just add to the noise? Giving in to anger and rage draws us into the dark, not away from it.

Jesus-follower, God didn’t call you into His light to be angry. He didn’t rescue you from darkness so you can condemn others to it. We are called into His light to show the world how good He is. Jesus told His followers: “Let your light shine before men is such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16 NASB).

How we interact with others matters. It will make the difference in their ability to see Christ in us. Let’s focus on God’s goodness. Let’s share stories of how He has been faithful when we weren’t. Let’s tell others about how God provided for us when we had no hope. Let’s shout from the rooftops, not with anger or rage, but with joy that we have a future, and it’s good.

Don’t build your life on rage and guilt and shame. Build your life on God’s uncompromising love and unchanging truth. Don’t live in the darkness where evil is concealed and redefined as something good; live in the light where we call sin what it is and confess it and turn away from it and show others how to do the same with our lives—not just our words.

Want to change the world? Come out of the darkness, Jesus-follower. Live God’s Light.

TWEETABLE
Live God’s Light – #encouragement from A.C. Williams, @Free2BFearless on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

amy c williamsAbout the author: A.C. Williams is an author-preneur who weaves fantastic tales about #AmericanSamurai and #SpaceCowboys, and she’s passionate about helping writers master the art of storytelling. A quirky, coffee-drinking, cat-loving thirty-something, she’s on Finding Firefliesa mission to help authors overcome fear and live victorious. Join her adventures on social media (@free2bfearless) and visit her website, www.amycwilliams.com.

Join the conversation: How would you describe what living in God’s light looks like?

Rejoice in Your Weakness, But Don’t Let It Define You

by A.C. Williams @Free2BFearless

Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.    2 Corinthians 12:8-9 NLT

Pain is weakness leaving the body.

At least it used to be. Now that I’m inching closer and closer to 40, pain is just part of the daily routine. You know, lower back pain. Knees that crackle like popping bubble wrap. Achy muscles. Foot cramps. Pain is just part of life, right?

I hate being perceived as weak. I hate admitting that I need help. I hate people believing that I can’t do something (even if I actually can’t do it).

As much as I despise admitting it, weakness is a factor in my life. Just like it is in yours. There’s no shame in it. The best thing we can do with our weaknesses is accept them. Right?

The Bible even tells us to rejoice in our weaknesses. In my mind that meant I had to accept the weakness in the first place, but that might have been because I was pathologically opposed to admitting it existed. I’m slowly beginning to realize, however, that accepting my weakness and rejoicing in it are two very different concepts.

What makes them different? It’s the heart behind the choice.

Why are you choosing to embrace your weakness? Is it because you believe it will never change? Or is it because you believe God can actually use your weakness in His big plan?

For me, when I accepted my weaknesses, they became part of my identity.

I’m asthmatic. I’m a stress eater. I’m overweight. I’m disorganized. I’m bad at math. I can’t find my way out of a paper bag. I’m single.

Y’all, that’s not who I am. My weaknesses don’t define me, but somewhere along the line, as I accepted them, they began to do just that. So when I tried to correct them, it became like amputating part of myself, and I lost the motivation to change.

To a certain extent, you MUST accept your weakness. If you don’t, you’re deceiving yourself. Everyone has weaknesses, but the moment we embrace them as defining characteristics of our lives, we lose sight of who we truly are. We stop growing.

Rejoicing in your weakness looks very different. Rejoicing in your weakness is accepting that you are limited but God is not.

That’s the difference.

When we rejoice in our weakness, we aren’t accepting that it defines us. We’re recognizing that it CAN change, but only if God changes it. And that if He doesn’t take it away, God will use our weaknesses for something bigger than we are.

Admitting that you need help isn’t weakness. It’s character. When we set our limited human strength aside and trust in the limitless power of God, there’s nothing we can’t do.

Being weak isn’t part of your identity. Being weak is an opportunity to do something through God’s strength that would be impossible otherwise.

Feeling weak functions like an indicator light on your car’s dashboard. It signals you need help to overcome it. Don’t despair when weakness creeps up on you and threatens to overwhelm you. Don’t give in because you believe it will never change. Rejoice. Celebrate. You can’t conquer your weakness alone, but you have a personal, intimate relationship with the God who can.

So ask Him for help. He always will. Give Him the chance to use your weakness to prove His strength.

TWEETABLE
Rejoice in Your Weakness, But Don’t Let It Define You – encouragement from A.C. Williams, @Free2BFearless on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

amy c williams
Finding Fireflies

About the author: A.C. Williams is an author and entrepreneur who loves cats, country living, and all things Japanese. She’d rather be barefoot, and if she isn’t, her socks will never match. She prefers Trixie Belden to Nancy Drew, wears her watch on the wrong wrist, and Mr. Darcy is her love language. Follow her adventures on social media @free2bfearless.

Join the conversation: How has God used weakness in you?

Mended With Gold

by Amy Williams @free2Bfearless

I broke my favorite mug the other day. I’d finished my morning coffee and set my mug on the precarious stack of paper next to my desk. I had to set it there because my desk was covered in projects and folders and protein bar wrappers. And before I knew what was happening, my beloved mug slid off and shattered on the wood floor.

The mug had been a gift from my best friend. She had one just like it. Handmade. Ceramic. Dark blue. And when she left for England, where she lived for three years, we would send each other pictures of our matching mugs whenever we were lonely. No matter where I go, no matter where I lived, I always took that mug with me. And just like that—because of my own actions no less—the mug was in pieces. What once had a use was now useless. What once had value was now worthless.

As I gathered up the fragmented pieces of my favorite mug, I couldn’t help but compare it to my life. Many times, I’ve felt like my life has been broken into pieces, mostly due to my own poor choices. Some of the consequences of those choices rise up and taunt me on a daily basis. I’ve disappointed people who were counting on me. I’ve hurt people I love. I haven’t been there for the people who needed me when they needed me. If it were up to me, my life would be jagged pieces on the floor—shattered and scattered by my own hand.

But it’s not up to me.

When I was seven years old, I decided to believe what Jesus said about Himself and about me, and from that point on, I’ve been one of His many works in progress. Since that day, I have been on a journey with Him where He is keeping His promise from 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV).

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

I hadn’t heard about Kintsugi until a handful of years ago in a random Pinterest post during a pinning binge (you know, you’ve done it too). Kintsugi, which is roughly translated “mended with gold,” is a Japanese pottery technique where the pieces of broken cups or pots are rejoined using gold lacquer. It’s gorgeous work. Instead of an old broken pot, now you have something beautiful. Something new. Kintsugi takes a broken vessel that had lost its inherent worth and makes it more valuable than it had been before—not because it was broken but because of how it was pieced back together.

Sound familiar?

We all have broken pieces. We all have scars and wounds, whether we let the world see them or not. But you can’t hide your broken pieces from Jesus. He knows each one, and He offers redemption for each scar. Only He is big enough to take the broken pieces of your life and turn them into something beautiful that can be used to help others. That is the true worth of your scars and broken pieces. Not that you have them—but how God can redeem them for His glory.

What broken pieces are you hiding today? What scars are you afraid to reveal? Don’t let the enemy convince you that your brokenness has made you worthless. Listen to Jesus, the Master Potter, who is able to take your broken life and make it new and whole again.

As for me and my favorite mug, I’m going to go find some gold lacquer. Because that old piece of handmade pottery still has lots of new stories to tell.

…He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.  Philippians 1:6 NIV

TWEETABLE
Mended With Gold – encouragement from A.C.Williams, @Free2BFearless on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

amy c williamsAbout the author: A.C. Williams is an author-preneur who weaves fantastic tales about #AmericanSamurai and #SpaceCowboys, and she’s passionate about helping writers master the art of storytelling. A quirky, coffee-drinking, cat-loving thirty-something, she’s on Finding Firefliesa mission to help authors overcome fear and live victorious. Join her adventures on social media (@free2bfearless) and visit her website, www.amycwilliams.com.

Join the conversation: How has brokenness been a part of your spiritual journey?

Hope for the Holidays

by A.C. Williams @Free2BFearless

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

This has been a tough year for a lot of reasons, and Thanksgiving only made it tougher. My grandpa died in March, and for the first time in my life, he wasn’t sitting in his place at our table. I cried as I made his favorite pumpkin pie and remembered he wouldn’t get to eat it.

The period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is supposed to be a joyful time of celebration. It’s Jesus’ birthday, for crying out loud. Light the candles and drink some eggnog, right? But it’s not so joyful for everyone. Depression is often at its highest during the Christmas season. Some days are just a battlefield.

It’s difficult to be joyful when I miss people who aren’t here anymore. It’s a challenge to keep moving forward when all of my dreams are still on hold. It’s hard to hope when my circumstances tell me that nothing is going to change.

Then I remember Jeremiah 29:11.

Many believers know the verse, but it’s really powerful when we remember to whom it was written: God’s people while they were in captivity. Let me tell you, I don’t think Americans understand that level of loss and hopelessness. How could we? We’ve never been in captivity. We’ve never even been invaded.

But Israel was. They were invaded and captured and carted away into slavery and obscurity. And then God sends the prophet Jeremiah to give them this news: “I’ve got a plan. It’s a good plan too.” If I were them, I’d laugh in Jeremiah’s face (actually, I think they probably did, and then they threw him in jail, but that’s another story).

I mean, there they were, enslaved and terrified and grieving the loss of their home, and God has the nerve to tell them that He’s got a plan?

The word our English Bible uses for know actually means to see, as in God knows what’s coming because He’s already seen it. He lives outside the confinements of time. The word we translate as plans is almost like the word engineer. It’s complex. It has lots of moving pieces. And it’s always in motion.

When you read it that way, this isn’t God spouting platitudes. He didn’t send His prophet with empty words to bring temporary comfort to anyone who’d listen. This is God making a promise—that He knows the future, because He’s seen it, and it’s a good future. This is God telling His people that’s He’s got this. They may be in captivity now, but they aren’t going to stay there. He’s got a plan, He’s working it out, so His people should have hope.

And if captive Israel could have hope, so can I.

I miss my grandpa, but I know where he is, because my grandpa knows Jesus. My dreams may be on hold, but God will finish what He started in me. And through God’s power, I am an overcomer, so my circumstances can’t dictate my success.

Those are God’s promises, and He always keeps His promises. So no matter what happens, I can choose to hope, because God has a future for me. He’s seen it. And it’s so good.

TWEETABLE
Hope for the Holidays When Sadness Settles in – A.C. Williams @Free2BFearless on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

amy c williamsAbout the author: A.C. Williams is an author-preneur who weaves fantastic tales about #AmericanSamurai and #SpaceCowboys, and she’s passionate about helping writers master the art of storytelling. A quirky, coffee-drinking, cat-loving thirty-something, she’s on Finding Firefliesa mission to help authors overcome fear and live victorious. Join her adventures on social media (@free2bfearless) and visit her website, www.amycwilliams.com.

Join the conversation: What are your hopes for the holiday season?