Saying I was wrong.
Saying I’m sorry.
Doing the right thing.
Yes, listening. Have you ever listened to someone who is mad at you? Like me, you were probably defending yourself. It’s so difficult to sit in that moment and take it all in when you are so desperate to share your perspective.
Why is that?
The part of our brain arguing is great when you were fighting for your life back in the cavemen days but in our civilized society today it does more harm than good. Arguing is all about winning. This is the time we should put cottonballs in our mouth…anything to keep us from saying the mean things we end up regretting later.
This past Saturday Russ and I had a long drawn out fight. We would catch ourselves fighting, take a break, try again to resolve it but every time our discussion got more and more heated. Typically, we can discuss things in the moment but this time we needed more than just 20 minutes to calm down. It took a few hours apart to relax and come back into the conversation with an open heart and an open mind.*
Russ: I would keep asking myself why I was so upset and angry. As usual, it was more about me than about Danielle and our conversation. This process of looking at myself allowed me to come back in with a different frame of mind. We both took ownership for our role in the disagreement, which minimized the escalation and helped us repair in a manner that brought us closer.
Danielle: Listening was key for me to overcome the illusion we were on separate sides. It boiled down to how the conversation started and not the content of the argument but until I listened, I remained in my defensive posture.
There’s a reason why there is wisdom to be found in the Bible:
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. – James 1:19
Northpoint Community Church message:
Pride is so common to the human experience, it is the gateway to all other sins. It promises to make us bigger, better, and more important, but only makes us smaller and meaner. It strips us of our capacity to connect with others. It stands between us and our heavenly Father.
Why would you continue to follow some-thing that has the potential to kill everything that is valuable to you instead of following some-one’s radical approach to humility when it has the power to set you free?
For more on this message by Andy Stanley click here —> http://northpoint.org/messages/killin-it
Does pride get in the way of how you interact with your spouse? your kids? your friends? What would it take to kill the pride that stands in your way?
*I think it’s important for us to note how difficult over the years it has been to process our conflict. We could have never repaired this weekend without the 15 years of counseling in our back pocket. One small step to repair after conflict is to ask your spouse, “How could I have done/said things differently?” And when they answer, listen without any defense. Baby steps to reconciliation.
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