I have been wrong many times. So many times.

I have drawn conclusions about people and then, once I got to know them, discovered that my assessment was way off base.

I have held strong beliefs about doctrines, biblical interpretation, and matters of the church, only to realize as time passed, as I gained experience, and as others enlightened me, that my views were in error.

I have stated opinions on social and political matters in the strongest possible terms, certain that I was taking the only possible Christian view, but later, through open dialogue with people who approached the matter from a different perspective, I came to understand that the issue wasn’t as cut and dried as I had believed.

I have been wrong about plenty of other things, but you get the idea. I’m human.

And so are you.

However, to listen to the tone of much of what passes for dialogue and commentary these days, you would think that certainty in almost any area is easily attained and indisputable. People have their minds made up in every area of life — personal, social, religious, political, and no argument can assail their confirmed view.

There’s just one problem: If people are holding completely antithetical positions and they are holding them with equal confidence, someone has to be wrong.

It’s more likely, of course, that they are both wrong, that the truth lies somewhere between the two extremes, but finding that middle ground is an arduous task for which so many have little interest.

What is missing is humility, a willingness to admit our own fallibility. That good Christian virtue is in short supply.

On Wednesday we began the Season of Lent. In preparation for the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord, we repent in dust and ashes. This year it might behoove us to repent of our certainty, our arrogance. To say that we have sinned is to say that we have been wrong.

I believe two things with certainty. God is love. Jesus is Lord. Beyond that I’m willing to accept that I may not be seeing the whole picture. I’m willing to state my thoughts on many other issues as strongly as possible and I will attempt to persuade you that I have taken the correct view. And I will be willing to grant you the same privilege, providing, at the end of the day, we both are willing to say, “But I could be wrong.”