Monday, 11 November 2013

Surface Problems and Root Causes

I have come to the conclusion that most arguments, conflicts and disagreements are the result of self-inflicted wounds.  Unfortunately there is only one cure which will eliminate the pain caused by such situations but the pill is very bitter.  There is a slightly less distasteful antidote but unpleasant none the less.

“Okay genius, how can you assert that when I argue with my wife it is a self-inflicted wound?”  To which I would use a technique perfected by The Master and respond to a question with a question.  “What did you most recently argue about?”  The odds are in my favor that once you reveal the particulars of the argument it will turn out that the reason you disagreed is that you both focused on what you personally wanted and desired regardless of the validity of your partner’s position on the matter.

How do I know?  Because in the book of James, chapter four, verse one (a) in the Message which says, “Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves.”

Thus my woundedness often happens because I want my own way.  I am so certain I am right or so determined to win the argument or so convinced that I need to control the situation that I am not willing to compromise or listen to reason, let alone calmly explore possible options.

So what is the intermediate antidote?  It is called humility / honesty.  Humble yourself and be honest with your partner.  Admit that you just want to be right.  Admit that you just are so competitive that you want to win the argument.  Admit that even if their position makes more sense you have a need for control.  Ultimately explain how your position in the argument best serves you because after all the outcome you want is what is best for you, what meets your desires, your expectations and your wants.

The really bitter pill, the one that will eliminate most of your self-inflicted wounds; is to become other-centered.  In a way, isn’t that what Ephesians, chapter five, verse 33 tells us to do.  Husbands you are to love your wife as much as you love yourself.  IF you truly loved her as much as you love yourself, her point of view would be every bit as valid as yours.  Wives you are to respect your husband.  If you showed him total respect wouldn’t that indicate that most often you would defer to him?
PS. I noticed a number of readers from the Ukraine have been logging in, is there something in particular that you would like me to address?

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