Not Getting MY Way

Which way?I’ve been reading the book of James during my morning devotion lately. Wednesday, I read this in the fourth chapter:

“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight.”

Ouch. Could it really be that when I quarrel with someone, it’s basically because I didn’t get MY way? I pondered this. I applied it to several examples that I’m too proud to share with you. And the answer I came up with is . . . that’s it exactly.

Oh. I do enjoy getting my way. And I really, truly, deeply believe in my way. That’s why I’m going that direction. Because I’m THAT sure it’s the very best, rightest, most Godly way to go.

But I realized that I’m supposed to be going God’s way, not mine. His way would be the one that’s perfect. And his way involves an extra helping of humility. A heaping serving of loving my neighbor. A 100% commitment to loving him no matter what.

I don’t want to quarrel or fight. Maybe if I keep my focus on the path God has set before me I can give up MY way and walk in his. That’s my prayer. And I wouldn’t mind a bit if you prayed it for me, too.

5 thoughts on “Not Getting MY Way

  1. I so understand!

    I’ve managed, with some success, to prioritize ‘issues’ as to whether they’re worth arguing about or not. Love to hear your thoughts…

    0) This is the ‘not worth it’ list. It includes politics, taste in movies and books, stuff like that. You won’t change anyone’s mind by arguing, and the sum total of the effect of your opinion on the subject at hand is zero. Barack Obama doesn’t care if I like him or not. Religion is on this list, too – I think there are very few people brought to Christ through argument. Example is a much better tool; argument just sets up resistance, and even if the convertee grudgingly agrees that Jesus has some merit, it’ll always be fraught with the stigma of having ‘lost’ the argument.

    1) Barely worth mentioning – as in, who controls the remote tonight? My wife likes to watch the news. I don’t, so I go in the other room until it’s over. If it’s something that can send up a trip flare in my memory I’ll ask her to switch the channel, and let my PTSD sleep.

    2) Worth discussing, but not arguing. Vacation plans and sex fall into this category. If it goes to argument someone’s not enjoying it, so the whole thing needs rethinking.

    3) Fight, and don’t lose, whatever you have to do. These are matters of life and death. As an example, I once had a chat with a civilian employee of a college police station about a dog they’d impounded as a stray. I offered to take the dog, but he said that it had to be turned over to the county, and, as a Pit Bull, would be put down. I argued for a while, didn’t move him, and a few minutes later the dog was, mysteriously, no longer in custody. And a box was being wheeled around campus on a hand truck, with one yellow eye peering out.

    What do you think?

    1. I like how you’ve broken things out into categories. Kind of the “which hill are you willing to die on” premise. I’m pretty sure MOST of the things we get exercised about aren’t worth ruining relationships over. I think the key is that we shouldn’t FIGHT over anything. Set the example, state the case, take the necessary action, but don’t let it escalate into something where no one wins.

      1. In most cases, and in personal relationships – yes, it’s best not to fight.

        However, there are times when we’re faced with an implacable evil, and the only thing to do is fight with everything we have in our souls – and every weapon that falls to our hands. We may not win, but by never giving in we can set an example that will blaze brightly for those who follow.

  2. Buffy White

    Sarah, don’t be TOO hard on yourself–there are times when the person you are dealing with has a too-healthy dose of MY WAY, and it’s not quite all your fault…

    1. I think one of the primary problems with this world we live in is that we ALL have a healthy dose of MY WAY. I guess what we need is to be inoculated with GOD’S WAY. Hmmm, I think I know where to get some of that!

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