Love Lets the Other Win

Philippians 2:3b-4

Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Romans 12:18

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

There are some people who have bold and confrontational personalities.  This is not a call to change one’s personality but it is a note that sometimes one must be mindful of the way they act.  God gave us many different personalities and this is what makes life exciting.  But having a different personality is not an excuse for sin either.  For instance, a person who has problems with anger cannot simply say that God made them fiery so it’s ok if they lose their cool from time to time.

Likewise, there are times that it is not healthy or loving to let the other person win.  If they want to do something that will harm themselves or the family, it is not right to just let them do as they please in the interest of avoiding confrontation.

With these qualifiers in mind, we should seek peace whenever possible.  This means that you have to carefully pick your battles.  There will be conflicts in every relationship as this is unavoidable.  As Paul mentions in Romans, our responsibility lies in our actions and reactions to our spouse.

This means that when an argument is brewing about where to have dinner, it’s probably best to just let the other person win because it’s not a big deal.  If the discussion is over whether to spend $20,000 on a new car or to put money aside for the children’s college fund, it probably is best to work things out rather than just give in.

The point of letting the other person win is not to avoid conflict for the sake of avoiding conflict.  Nor is it loving to just give in to the other person all of the time.  Rather, it is loving to be looking out for the best interest of the other person rather than just your own personal interests.  If you love someone you should realize when it’s important to take a stand and fight for what’s best for them.  But in other cases if you love them you’ll realize that it’s not worth having an argument and you’ll simply let them win.

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