#447 - I'm Argumentative
Volume 2 - Prayers to Love Our Neighbor
Dear Father, I continue to chase the impossible dream to be just like You, all-powerful and all-knowing. Father, the large rock outside my house is proof to my family and neighbors that I am not all-powerful. However, an argument is a way to deceive myself that I am all-knowing. An argument is like a boxing match. The victor in an argument is victorious by surviving one more punch than the opponent. As the referee counts to ten, my opponent lies on the canvas, exhausted from trying to change my opinion. They have given up. I threw a variety of punches at them: - Refuse to reason. I refused to use logic. I refused to make a coherent case for my position. Instead, I'd say things like "because I said so", "I just know", "you wouldn't understand", "I don't have to tell you why". - Play the victim. "You are hurting me by arguing with me." "You are hating me." "If you loved me, you'd agree with me." "You are mean." - Act childish. "Na. Na. Na. La. La. La. I'm not listening. I don't hear you. Na. Na. Na. La. La. La." - Contradiction. "If you say it is blue, I'll say it is red. I'll contradict everything they say." If they say something in agreement with something I had said before, I'll contradict myself. I'll contradict rational thought just to disagree. My opponent, longing for a mature intelligent debate, gave up and lies bruised and battered on the canvas. He hasn't been persuaded. I haven't changed his mind. He's just exhausted of the argument, certain he will avoid having any conversation with me in the future. I stand with my hands held high, proud in my victory. I've won the argument. I'm right in my beliefs. I'm smarter. I'm wiser. Nobody can beat me in an argument. I must be incredibly smart. I must be incredibly wise. I'm argumentative because my beliefs will never be proven wrong. I will never concede, back down, or acknowledge I learned anything. I am all-knowing, just like God. What is the opposite of argumentative? - Taking the position that I don't know things and I need to learn. - Taking the position that God might be trying to teach me something through the other person. I need to listen. - Asking questions to explore what the person is saying, to make sure I understand it, and to determine how it can apply to my life. Father, forgive me for the times I am argumentative. I long to define for myself what is right and what is wrong, just like Adam and Eve. I can't tolerate being wrong about anything. Father, help me to be quiet and listen to the things You want to say to me through others. Amen.
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