The Ability To Change Your Mind

Do you know Jeff Bezos? He started a company to sell books online in the late 90s. Now he sells just about anything online. I think my first book purchase from Amazon.com was 1997. My last book purchase was…yesterday. I also buy electronics, TV shows, grocery products.

Jason Fried, co-founder and CEO of a company called Basecamp, wrote in his blog Signal v noise about a time Bezos visited his company. In a Q&A session, he said,

people who were right a lot of the time were people who often changed their minds. He doesn’t think consistency of thought is a particularly positive trait. It’s perfectly healthy — encouraged, even — to have an idea tomorrow that contradicted your idea today.

He’s observed that the smartest people are constantly revising their understanding, reconsidering a problem they thought they’d already solved. They’re open to new points of view, new information, new ideas, contradictions, and challenges to their own way of thinking.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a well formed point of view, but it means you should consider your point of view as temporary.

How would I describe many Christians either I know or I read about? Pretty much the opposite. They know everything and are not afraid to let you know that they know…

How often I have been in a group discussion and someone says something about what we are studying, and it changes my whole view of the passage! How often we have read a passage of the Bible in a group and at least one person exclaims, “I don’t remember ever reading that before!”

I have basic principles that will not likely ever change. But my views around those principles–what is justice, what is peace, what did Jesus really mean–these change perhaps with the times, perhaps with growing wisdom, definitely with greater awareness of self and others.

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