One thing I've learned about myself since getting married is that I just love to be right. In fact, it's pretty dang important to me. Often my poor husband has to navigate through my anger about something ridiculous like whether we should eat shrimp or chicken (I wrote about that here), which I make as important as something serious like welfare reform. The sad thing about some of these conversations- even the "important" ones like welfare reform- is that I must take a position even if I know very little about it. I then channel all that Hannah-passion toward being right about it, and if Michael doesn't agree with me, he might be in for a long day.
Lately I experienced grace in this area. Not the warm, fuzzy blanket kind of grace, but the uncomfortable, somewhat embarrassing kind of grace. I got into an argument with a co-worker about something. I heard about the issue, quickly chose a stance, and defended it as if I had a PhD in this field. Now, arguing- especially at seminary- is all fun and games until someone decides to bicker with the professor. I decided to do that on this particular day and my professor gently reminded me about the dangers of arrogance. It was a crawl-under-the-rug moment.
So about half an hour later, I had a very red-faced time of prayer and confession. In the midst of asking God to give me another chance, the opportunity to wake up finding it was only a dream, I realized: what I need is not just to keep my mouth shut, or to get more educated so that I can argue better (believe me, I had that thought too!) What I need is to love looking like Christ more than I love being right. That might seem like a no-brainer for some, but it was a revelation for me. I'm so focused on being right that I forget I'm not actually called to know it all! I'm called to love. I'm called to be patient and not self-seeking. I'm called to be humble and not puffed up, even when I think I'm right!
It's not my job to make my husband agree with me about welfare reform or to convince anyone of anything. It's my job to be controlled by the love of Christ. That's an issue I can certainly channel my passion toward!