Do you want to be right, or do you want to be married?

This was a question I was asked in counseling…many times.  It was interesting because it helped me to realize that sometimes I chose to argue with my wife over the most meaningless things…because I needed to be right at all cost.

I say “I needed to be right” because my self esteem was so low that I simply could not be wrong.  To be wrong was a defeat, it was a loss; it meant I was somehow less worthy.

You see I used to put my worth in the hands of others.  If I was wrong, then what would they think?  The Bible says “Each one should test his own actions.  Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load.” Galatians 6:4-5

To understand everything I am going to talk about in this post, you might want to read all of the previous blog post, “A Conversation with Ted Haggard.”

In the previous blog post Lane wrote a response about the validity of the Bible.  He actually called it “…a book of fantasy and prejudice….”  I had an initial reaction to this and maybe some of you do too.  But what amazed me was the response of other brothers (and sister) like Luke, Sterling, and Kimberly…it was one of respect for a different view and not the God stick I have carried at times in my life.  I am proud of these people and I am proud to read their words…I learned from those words, but I learned more from their actions.

I believe in the Bible; I could never see it as anything less than the word of God.  But I am not the one for a deep theological debate, it is not my gift.  If you want to know how to beat porn, I’m the guy.

Where I can agree with Lane about the Bible is a statement he made at the beginning of his post:

“It is this idea of on one side, believing that it is Jesus Christ who grants us all forgiveness and on the other side, a cultist membership that gleans a holier than though mentality through they oh-so-assured adherence to a doctrine.”

As I have said before, I believe the interpretation of this book has done more to drive people away from Christ than any other action in history…and it continues today.  There are over a thousand pages in my Bible and there are as many interpretations as there are people on the earth.

I believe in John 3:16…Who ever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

I don’t want to oversimplify things here but Christians have been pointing at this verse since I can remember (and that is a long time!)  What well meaning people always seem to do and what I believe many churches have been doing is adding to John 3:16.  When they get done it seems to say “Except A, B, C, D…and only if you believe E, F and G and then only if you believe the Bible the exact way I do!”

I find it is so easy to judge others, that way I don’t have to look in the mirror at myself.  What I learned from Lane, Luke, Sterling, and Kimberly is finding the common ground…Love and understanding instead of judgment and needing to be right.  I used to yell at my wife and wonder why she did not listen…I know, kinda dumb isn’t it.

Those of you, who really know the Bible please go get it.  Close that book and lay it in front of you…of everything it says in that book, please tell me in one word what the entire book is about.  For me that one word is Love, it is about the greatest love I will ever know.  That is my word.

Thank you Lane for your post, I hope others who read it will respond with the respect of Luke, Sterling and Kimberly…but I apologize in advance because some won’t.  I hope you will continue to experience the love of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and I hope you will continue to interact with others in the compassionate way you already have.

I like this from The Message, Philippians 4:8-9:

“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.  Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized.  Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. 

Thank you God for the lessons I learn through the incredible people you bring to this site. 

All the glory to God…

Steve G