Following is the full text of ‘I Kissed Dating Goodbye’ author Joshua Harris’ talk titled “Strong Enough to Be Wrong” at TEDxHarrisburg conference.
I have a question for you.
Is admitting you’re wrong a sign of weakness or a sign of strength? And how hard is it for you to consider that you’ve gotten something wrong?
I’m not talking about small areas. What about when the stakes are high, when what you’ve gotten wrong could affect your livelihood, or your involvement in a community, or even your own sense of identity?
I wish that these questions were just theoretical, but for me, they’re very real, very right-now questions that I am wrestling with in a very public way.
So let me tell you a little bit of my journey.
I could take you to the exact spot, in my parents living room, in Gresham, Oregon, where I knelt down and I prayed this prayer: “God, let me write a book that will change the world.”
Be careful what you pray for!
I was 20 years old, I was young, I was religiously zealous, I was certain and I was restlessly ambitious. Youth, zeal, certainty, ambition – Not unlike the ingredients of the Molotov cocktail, they have the tendency to set the world on fire.
And, in my little corner of the world, that’s exactly what happened, because, incredibly, my prayer was answered. I did write a book, it was published and it exploded. It started to sell and sell and sell.
The publisher kept writing me, saying: “We’re going back to print.” It was selling tens of thousands of copies every month. I remember the day that I went into my local Christian book store, and there was my book, the number one, bestselling book in the country. And it stayed there for months.