When did flip-flopping become such a negative thing? It seems that being accused of flip-flopping, especially in the political field, has become the single most dangerous accusation that can be leveled against an opponent. When did we start expecting our leaders to be so wise that they would never ever have to change their mind?
The longer I live the more I become convinced that the key to wisdom has something to do with flip-flopping. To be honest flip-flopping is not strength of mine, mostly because it is closely tied with admitting that I am wrong. Apologizing requires humility, not my personal specialty.
In scripture flip-flopping is normative. In Acts 9 we have the story of Saul, later re-named Paul, who is a passionate follower of God. A new group of people is emerging. They call themselves “followers of the Way;” later on they are referred to as Christians. This new group was threatening the established religious system. So Saul gains permission from the religious leaders to fix the problem. But on the road to Damascus Saul meets Jesus and has a flip-flopping experience. He is won over to the Followers side and eventually writes the majority of the New Testament – all because he flip-flopped.
When church and political leaders refuse to flip-flop, they become something less than leaders. It is silly to think that a person will never change their mind. As a matter of fact, I would propose that a person’s unwillingness to change their mind is an indicator of things like immaturity, insensitivity and lack of compassion. If someone claims to be a leader and isn’t willing to flip-flop then they have no business claiming to be a leader.
Next time someone is accused of flip-flopping, take a moment and thank God for that person!