Thursday, September 3, 2015

Am I right?

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”  2 Peter 3:9

Sometimes we sacrifice relationship in order to be “right.”

I don’t necessarily think we do it on purpose.  I think many times we just want to be heard.  We especially want to be understood.  But - being right is not the point of a relationship.  The older I get - the more I’m slowly (and I mean slowly!!) learning that relationships are about hearing the other person (listening) - and not being heard (talking).  It’s not about expression as much as it is about empathy.  

I’m horrible at this!  

Being right in a discussion or argument can often lead to hurt feelings and misunderstandings.  I never feel good in a relationship after an argument - win or lose.  It’s difficult to connect with someone after that kind of disagreement.  Superiority (or inferiority) can be a cancer to true intimacy.  

To make it even more difficult - it’s impossible to have any type of relationship without conflict.  There are practical arguments (You said you’d do the dishes - and you didn’t) to arguments about ideology (glass half full) and theology (insert any statement about God here).  

We are all so different.  

The point of relationship is connection.  It’s to reach intimacy with another person.  I’m not necessarily describing romantic relationships (although they certainly apply) - but all relationships.  We want to connect - we don’t want to divide.

And yet - how often do we make a stance which sacrifices our friendships - our relationships?  I see many posts on social networks that are so divisive - and the person posting it has no clue.  There are just so many argumentative statements and positions being made - it’s a bit crazy (especially now that it's a political season).  There’s lot of superiority going around.  Arrogance is not attractive.

There's that famous warning to not discuss politics and religion in social gatherings - especially during Thanksgiving.  The reason being? - we tend to destroy relationships when arguments like these arise.  Our will to be "right" can create horrible relational conflict - and none of us are immune to its lure.  We want to be right no matter the cost.  This leads to many broken relationships in which we would rather avoid the other person than connect with them.  I know that I do this - and I do it more often than I'd like to admit.

With those we love, it can even be worse.  Sometimes we’re so ignorantly stubborn - it’s embarrassing.  Personally - I have an “insert foot in mouth” disease - and half the time - I don’t even know I have it.  ugh. 

A negative tendency of mine is to go on the defensive.  There have been many times when I have felt judged when there might have been a genuine concern.  I wasn’t listening - I was defending my stance or position.  I was right - gosh darn it!  And I totally lost...

This happens way too often.  

God has concern for His kids - us.  How often do I perceive that concern as judgment - or condemnation?  He speaks the truth - yet - I want to plead my case - give excuses - I want to fight!   So I avoid Him altogether.

When - all He wants to do is connect…

Have a good day…