I recently read a blog post by author Rachel Held Evans about overcorrecting. She warns against the potential danger of losing valuable beliefs or traditions from our pasts as we try to correct for error.
In our efforts to get it right, we may actually go too far. Instead of being in the center, we may find ourselves on the other side of the line.
Although I agree with Evans, I struggled with the opposite problem.
My fear of overcorrection paralyzed me so much that I remained firmly fixed in my position, afraid to make any changes at all.
Having a conservative background, my greatest fear was becoming less conservative. I can’t say that becoming liberal was a real concern because liberalism was so far off my chart that I was in no real danger. You have to learn to crawl before you can learn to walk.
In my journey God eventually brought me to a place where I purposed to change and navigate my way closer to the center. I expressed this to a friend who shared the same fear that I carried for so many years.
“But what if you go so far to the center that you your cross the line and you actually do become liberal?” he asked.
There are two problems with this statement.
1. That traveling to the left of center is bad.
2. That overcorrection is not correctable.
I have found neither of these to be true or relevant.
Despite its improbability, even if this fear became reality, being a little left of center would still have been much closer to the middle then I ever was in my ultra-conservative position.
I needed a major correction just so that I could get off the shoulder and actually see the dividing center line.
How did I get past this fear? I finally decided that if I went too far then this too was correctable. If I found myself in some sort of error, I could repent and get back closer to the center once again.
In many ways our lives should resemble this pattern. If we are truly searching for the center line, then we will constantly be going too far in one direction or the other always willing to make the change needed to get back to the center.
Our other option is to sit on the shoulder afraid of what the road might really look like.
Have you ever overcorrected? Do you drive your car on the shoulder?
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