Not for turning?

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The Chancellor of the Exchequer has been vilified for U-turns recently. He announced a range of tax changes in the Budget and has changed a number of those plans since then. Different groups and newspapers who have run campaigns against the proposed changes have claimed victories and credit for forcing the Chancellor to change his mind. The Shadow Chancellor made fun of him for all the U-turns, but welcomed the latest one in almost the same breath.

I understand that people want leaders who are decisive but is it so bad to change your mind? Doesn’t it show a certain amount of courage and character to do so in public after having made the initial announcements? Especially as you know you will be criticised are ridiculed for doing so!

Doesn’t a culture where people experience such a response to changing their mind lead to intransigence, stubbornness and encourage people to stick to following bad policies or unwise courses of action?

In churches I think we can suffer from a similar temptation… changing your mind can be seen as weak leadership rather than humble listening. It’s the sort of attitude that leads to ‘we’ve never done it that way before’-style paralysis. It’s the attitude that diminishes willingness to take risks because we sense God might be saying something to us. It’s the sort of approach that means we don’t stop doing things that are no longer working or appropriate for our current context.

And of course we need to remember that God loves it when we make U-turns. The Bible calls it ‘repentance’.

Be blessed, be a blessing.

A bloke received a phone call from his wife on his carphone.

“Be careful dear,” she said.”I heard on the radio that there’s a car travelling the wrong way on the motorway you’re on.”

The bloke replied, with a touch of panic, “It’s not just one – there’s hundreds of them!”

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