"Blessed is she, who has believed, that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished." Luke 1:45

Monday, January 16, 2012

Beating a dead horse

"Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful."  2 Timothy 2:23-24
"Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe" Philippians 2:14-15
There are times and places to dig in your heels and refuse to budge. There are times when not letting go of something is exactly the right thing to do. Morally or ethically or spiritually. We should never compromise. 

But other times? Well, have you ever heard of beating a dead horse?

Beating a dead horse: To bring up an issue that has already been resolved. Any attempt to discuss said issue is pointless, as it has already been done repeatedly.

These are the conversations that we refuse to drop. Either with our spouse, with our kids, with our friends,  or even with God. We call them "discussing", "revisiting", or "making our point". But Scripture says we are arguing. Being quarrelsome. Even complaining. 

How do you know if you are "beating a dead horse"?

Here are some clues:

- No matter how you re-phrase or re-structure your argument, you are saying the same thing you said the last ten times you talked about this particular subject.

Beating a dead horse.

- You know that the person you are trying to have the discussion with has firmly refused to budge any of the other times you have talked about it. They know your position, your reasons and your desire, and they are still not budging. 

Beating a dead horse.

- Nothing changes but you feel the need to push your idea one more time (either directly or indirectly).

Beating a dead horse.

Besides bringing frustration and tension, beating a dead horse can also sow discord and bitterness if you are in disagreement with your spouse or your friend and you just won't let it go.

It can bring feelings of rejection and inadequacy in your children.

It can bring struggle and quiet to your communication with God.

You may feel like you are completely justified in your position, and you may be right. 

But if you and your spouse are not in agreement and you just keep hammering your point, eventually your spouse will run for cover when they see you coming, or completely shut down. And lets face it, after a while, don't we know our spouse won't agree? We are just poking at them to satisfy our need to let out some frustration over not getting our way.

Your friend might decide that it is better to have some space (away from you) instead of covering the same ground.

Your kids might choose to disconnect and shut you out. After all, you care more about getting your way than actually listening to them.

God will listen to your every word, every desire, and continue to lead you where He wants you to go. You can go with a willing heart- or kicking and screaming to get your way every. single. step. You will eventually end up where He wants you anyway, you will just do it the "learning your lesson" way (and really, who prefers that!?).

May I encourage you today to give over to God your desire to be right? Let him resolve your heart to what is, not what you wish could be.  The best way to start is to ask yourself "Is getting my way really more important than my relationship with ___________________?"

Remember, as stated in our verse above, we are to shine like stars, and we can't do that if we are in the process of beating a dead horse.

1 comment:

Ashley White Rahar said...

seriously...I should be paid if you are going to continue to use me as the subject of your blogging!

Keep up the good work!