“Give me one example of how I’ve been disrespectful?” I pridefully demanded, after my husband lobbed the accusation at me.
I was pretty certain I could offer justification for any ‘disrespectful’ response he had received from me—and I was confident that disrespect wasn’t something I was characterized by. So, in ready defense mode, I demanded an example.
And I got one. Then another. Then several others.
As the examples came one after another, I attempted to defend myself by sharing the reasons for my responses. Initially, some seemed perfectly justifiable, but the justifications quickly became repetitive—even to me. It was as if the rugged terrain of my sin was becoming more difficult to navigate by the minute.
At a pivotal point in our conversation, I recall a visual forming in my mind of standing at a fork in the road. I could continue along the difficult, rocky, unstable path of justification—or I could choose to veer a different direction along a path that appeared free of the pitfalls I found myself continually tripping on.
The choice should have been an easy one, yet I stood at that fork in the road, deliberating, for quite some time.
Was what he was saying actually true of me? I didn’t want it to be.
But, the evidence had been laid before me—and I had a choice to make there at that fork. One way led to destruction, the other to transformation.
Pride always feels easier in the moment. It justifies, avoids responsibility, and offers a temporary reprieve from our hurt feelings. But it leaves us vainly fighting for stability on rugged terrain.
I remember the moment I decided to turn away from my pride and acknowledge the truth of what he was saying. I had been disrespectful—denying it was no longer an option.
Humility takes courage, and it’s a very hard first step. Although we can see the smoother road ahead, that initial step off of the rocky path we have worked so hard to navigate is an extraordinarily difficult one. But once we find the courage to take it, we land on something soft, something gentle, something stable—we land on grace.