Friday, 3 August 2012

Is This Worth Fighting Over

As a former corporate guy I tend to salivate over graphs and charts.  I owe this entry to a blog posted by Justin Taylor on the Gospel Coalition blog.

The vertical axis of the Beever Grid defines the importance of the subject at hand.  At the bottom of the vertical axis might be some inane debate over who was the greatest left handed soprano of all time in the Metropolitan opera? – a subject that comes up a lot.  At the top of that column might be something as important as should we have another child?

The horizontal axis defines my degree of certainty.  At the far left on this continuum I am relatively clueless.  On the far right I am reasonably positive that I am right.  A question such as who won the 1952 Summer Olympics gold medal for pole vaulting?  On the far right might be some deeply held Christian values.

Imagine now that the graph was divided into four quadrants.  In the lower left quadrant would be a subject that I would find unimportant and I know almost nothing about it.  In the upper left hand quadrant the subject might be of great importance, i.e. do we refinance our home but one of the  partners just has no knowledge of or interest in financial matters.

Ernie Ells - 2012 British Open champion
The lower right hand quadrant is reserved for topics which are of little importance but I’m reasonably sure I have the right answer, i.e. I know who won the 2012 British Open Golf tournament.

The prime area for conflict is the upper right hand corner quadrant.  This is a subject of much importance and I have a fairly strong opinion that I know what is best, such as should we have another child.

As you can see it is a total waste of time to have a conflict that might involve subjects that fall in three of the four quadrants.  Don’t waste emotional energy and doing irreparable damage to your relationship by constantly doing battle in areas where you either know very little or the topic is just not that important.

When it comes to the upper right hand quadrant agree to pray together that the resolution you come to will be one that will bring honor to God. Also agree that it is of utmost importance that you truly understand one another, so much so that you can paraphrase back what the other person says. Then take turns sharing your opinion with the other person feeding back what they heard.  Do it calmly and with limited emotion because you want your partner to listen to you and hear what you are saying and take it seriously.

You may have to agree to come back to visit the subject  again after you have both prayed about it OR you might be able to reach a compromise that would bring glory to God.

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