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I Wanted To Win!

Laura and I had a “disagreement” the other day (a.k.a. “fight”), and I found myself slipping back into some old patterns. I wanted to prove I was in the right (and she was in the wrong) more than I wanted resolution. In other words, I wanted to win.

Have you ever found yourself at odds with your spouse, boss, or fellow church member where winning the argument becomes more important than resolving the argument? What provokes you to prove a point, even if it damages the relationship?

Sure, there are certain non-negotiables over which relationships may need to end. The Apostle Paul made it pretty clear that times may come when you or the other person needs to find the nearest exit (eg., 1 Corinthians 5:2; Titus 3:10-11).

There are also times when separation can be beneficial to all parties involved such as the time Paul and Barnabas chose different paths (cf. Acts 15:37-41).

Make no mistake, however; the path to separation is far narrower than you might think. And the path to resolution is wide but difficult to walk. The path through conflict is a minefield of ego, pride, and selfishness. Most of my arguments with Laura center around my feelings being hurt, my opinion not accepted, or my wants neglected (or so I believe at the time). What do those three have in common? “My.”

As Frank Sinatra soulfully sang, “I want it my way.” And when I don’t get it my way, I get defensive, and I become offensive.

I need to heed the words from Romans 12:3, “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought.” The same author wrote in a different letter, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3).

There’s that “H” word—humility. Humility is one of those character traits you should aspire to but never boast about attaining. Is it possible to be proud of your humility? Humility is not self-deprecation; it is simply lacking focus on self. We need to be self-aware in the sense of emotional health and emotional intelligence (EQ), but self-awareness should never lead to self-aggrandizement.

When I begin to apply the words from the above Scriptures, I find more self-fulfillment when I am not trying to please myself. It’s odd but true: helping others find fulfillment brings greater self-fulfillment.

So, the next time Laura and I have a “disagreement,” I need to be less concerned about winning and more concerned about resolving. As one author put it, “Making things right is more important than being right” (Eric Bryant, Not Like Me, 140). Now it’s time for me to go make things right. How about you?

Posted by Rick Grover, Lead Pastor with

A Good Way to Spend the Next 30 Days

Author, political commentator, and former physician, Charles Krauthammer, has roughly one month to live. His story is currently all over the news, and people are intrigued by his demeanor and acceptance of his inevitable death.

I preached a sermon series recently called, One Month to Live. If you knew you only had one month to live, what would you do differently? And if there are things you would do differently, why not do them now, regardless of how much time you have left?

For most of us, the “one-month challenge” is only an exercise to help us think about areas of our lives that need to change, but for Charles Krauthammer, it’s real life.

In a recent article in The Washington Post, Krauthammer wrote, “I leave this life with no regrets. It was a wonderful life—full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living. I am sad to leave, but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended.”

Wow. Living life with no regrets. I wish I could say the same, but, unfortunately, I can think of a few (or more) regrets laid at the door of poor choices, actions taken, and words spoken that can’t be undone.

I’m grateful for Krauthammer’s self-reflection, and I pray for him and his family. With one month to live, there must be genuine peace to have lived “the life that was intended.” And I pray that for you, too.

For those of us whose life reflections are a bit more tainted, however, how can we face death if we only had one month to live? Herein lies the hope of the Gospel. No other religion, philosophy, or worldview provides motivation for change, a hope of eternal life, and deliverance from the weight of guilt and shame besides that of the way of Jesus.

Jesus Christ is our motivation for change because He is the power and provider for us to live a life of no regrets. “In Him, we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). He gives us a “living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3). And “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Colossians 1:13).

We all have a death sentence. For Charles Krauthammer, that sentence may be served quicker than mine, but maybe not. Either way, letting go of past regrets and choosing to live with no more regrets is a good way to spend the next thirty days.  

Learn to forgive yourself, for forgiveness is the doorway for peace and joy-filled living. C. S. Lewis once wrote, “To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you” (The Weight of Glory). Once your burdens are lifted, you will find yourself stepping into the way of light for however many days you have left to live.

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life”—Jesus.

Posted by Rick Grover, Lead Pastor with

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