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love is better than being right

September 7, 2011

The things I realize have always been there and have always been true. They’ve usually been pointed out to me several times before. It’s just that I’m a little slow on the uptake.

For example:

Loving someone is better than being right about something.

At our training here in North Carolina, 4 of the 40 students are single. The rest are all married to other students, meaning the husband and wife are both in class. On Tuesday afternoons, the married people watched an Andy Stanley video series about marriage. I’ve been going to church since I was born, so I’m used to hearing lots of church words and explanations. He doesn’t assume his audience has heard it all before. No five-syllable churchy words from him.

In one of the videos, he says something like: “You can be absolutely right every time, but if that’s what you think is important, you’ll lose the relationship.”

In another series of sessions, we took a personality test called the DISC Personality Profile. There are 4 main types of personalities, plus combinations of them.  I’m a “competent specialist.” The description says people like me “tend to always be right. They like to do one thing at a time and do it right the first time…They are motivated by opportunities to serve others and to do things correctly.”

Ha! This reaffirms what I already thought: I’m usually right. Mwahaha. I’m going to go rub that in now. love is better than being right

Wait. God may have made me a thinker, but I don’t suppose he wants me to hurt other people with my thinking and right-ness. I’ve heard 1 Corinthians 13 about 5000 times, but the real-life applications are striking me and making me see how far I am from acting with love sometimes.

Scenario: my very intelligent but less time-conscious husband thought we were supposed to get there at 6:30, but it was actually 6:00. Even if we leave right now we’ll still be 10 minutes late. I have a few options. Andy Stanley divides them into two basic categories:

1) I can say, “Hey, it’s okay,” be nice to him, give him a break, and deal with the 10-minute delay. This is valuing him more than my time, and it’s loving him.

2) I can say, “We’re going to be late again! You did this last week too. You always get it confused. Why don’t you just pay attention to the calendar? Now we’re going to miss the…” blah blah blah… My right-ness becomes much more offensive than his initial mistake of lateness. He made a mistake but meant well; I’m being mean, a.k.a. sinning.

I think actually believing this, not just having heard it 50 times, is going to be a pretty big deal for our marriage. (For some reason, I’m usually meanest to the people closest to me.) And it’ll be a big deal for my other relationships.

-Lori

P.S. Now that I’m learning not to hurt others with my right-ness, God is now showing me that I’m right less often than I think. Feel free to pray for me on how I deal with this one!

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. September 7, 2011 8:21 pm

    i too am burdened with the curse of always being right

  2. Joy permalink
    September 10, 2011 3:42 pm

    your posts are very interesting reads and includes lots of lol from joy 😉 i’ll definitely be praying for you as well as myself on this one…

  3. Chris permalink
    September 11, 2011 3:42 am

    Wow, this was very humbling to read. Thanks for your honesty and encouraging others to Love over Being Right. I certainly needed that encouragement.

  4. Jim Havenga permalink
    September 11, 2011 2:37 pm

    It is very hard to try not to explain, even harder not thinking why I am right and someone else is wrong. and to just accept what they have done or are doing. Your blog encourages me to be patient.

  5. Amy Russo permalink
    September 13, 2011 4:54 pm

    Lori — great stuff! Thank you for continuing to write, even though I know it’s hard to find the time. This post was encouraging to me as well. Anthony and I continue to pray for you guys. Both of you are doing great work spiritually and I know the Lord will bless that!

  6. Kent permalink
    September 16, 2011 4:13 pm

    Lori,
    you’ve pointed out a major lie in the typical believer’s life…that is, “the other person’s ‘major’ failures justify my ‘minor’ (yet sinful) responses”. So often the ‘minor’ quickly becomes more ‘major’ than the other person’s initial sins and do so gradually enough that it goes unnoticed.
    thanks for sharing, love your humor 🙂

  7. Nathan permalink
    September 16, 2011 5:11 pm

    I had a coworker who used to say of relationships, “you can be right, or you can be happy.”

  8. September 17, 2011 8:07 pm

    Oh, Lori, looks like you and I may be two peas in the same pod!

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