Paradigm Shift

Text: Luke 9:46
An argument arose among them as to which one of them was the greatest. (NRSV)

We live in a culture that is incredibly competitive.  Everything is about being first, fastest, biggest, richest, etc., etc., etc.  When it comes to arguments, we will pull out any tactic that we think will allow us to “win” the argument.

I point this out to my couples when I am doing premarital counseling.  When we talk about conflict resolution, I tell the couple that they must change the way they look at arguing.  It can no longer be about who is right and who is wrong, it must be about what is best for you as a couple.  If they are using “tactics” to win the argument (i.e. brining up past mistakes, raising their voices for intimidation, crying in order to receive pity, sarcasm, or any number of things that don’t have anything to do with the facts that pertain to the present argument), they have already lost the war because they have already started to erode the relationship that needs to exist between a loving couple.

However, the same thing is true when we are following the new command that Jesus has given us to love one another (see John 13:34-35).  If we come at it like the disciples did trying to compete against one another, we will erode the relationship that needs to exist between those who make up the church.  Loving one another is not about competing for places of honor or power, loving one another is about working out the best possible way to live together so that God receives the honor and the glory.

How has our sense of competitiveness as a culture shaped the way you relate to others in your family or in the church?  Are you more interested in winning an argument or discovering the best way to live together as sisters and brothers in Christ?  What brings honor to God, a church that fights among its members or a church that sacrifices in order to welcome everyone into a relationship with one another and with God?

Pray with me:

God of love and God of relationship pour your unconditional love into me that I might see others as more worthy than myself and sacrifice my wants in order to make sure others receive the love they need.  AMEN.

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