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…he might be wrong, but that doesn’t make me right

August 1, 2011

Ever find yourself still awake hours after going to bed rolling an issue over and over in your head until you’re completely exhausted and your head is pounding?  Been there.  When this happened to me it was usually over a point of contention with someone I knew who I felt was treating someone badly and/or making horrible choices.  I’d spend those hours thinking about why they were wrong and exactly how I’d explain that to them if given the chance… basically, a long, drawn out imaginary debate in my head.  This probably comes as no surprise to those who know me. 🙂 

One night, I’d had enough.  The issue seemed to have no answer because I knew that nothing I came up with to say to this person would have changed their behavior.   The worst part was, even though I’d gone over the situation dozens of times in my head and hadn’t found a better way to handle it, I felt strangely guilty.  I’d had a similar feeling before at other times (usually on a sleepless night), and had generally found a way to dismiss it (maybe it’s just hormones…).  This time I was desperate to know why I felt so awful.

God answered me with this word:

“Give up your combativeness and I’ll give you compassion; let go of your judgments and I’ll give you discernment.”

The answer was right under my own nose.  I had felt guilty because my attitude was all wrong.  Instead of trying to come up with “convicting” arguments I needed to allow God to give me compassion.  Why?  Because only after I stopped passing judgments could I honestly care about the person who had been “wrong,” and grace is always more effective than the most carefully crafted argument.

I tell you all this because it might help you with your sleepless contemplations, but it also might help you approach arguments with your spouse differently.  Unfortunately, confrontation is an important part of relationships.   But entering those confrontations with a loving, gracious attitude will create a safe environment that invites honesty in the “wrong” person which can facilitate change.  Humility also goes a long way… you never know, you might be wrong in some way, too…

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