Managing differences


So I’ve learned about two things this week that it would be best for me to avoid writing about: racism, and either one of the candidates during an election year. I don’t know enough about either to act like an expert. So my apologies if I offended anyone. As much as I would like to think of myself as a social commentator, I am not. And I especially apologize for coming off like I know what I’m talking about when I don’t.

Unlike last night, when Marti gave me a good idea about what to write about today, it’s just that I slept through it. I should never ask her a question while lying comfortably in a hot bathtub way after my bed time, but I did, and she proceeded to answer me, though I didn’t really hear anything after I asked her until I managed to pick up “… so what do you think?”

“About what?” I made the big mistake of asking.

“Have you been asleep this whole time?”


“In the future, may I ask that you refrain from asking me a question if you’re not sure you can stay awake for the answer?”

“Whoops. Yeah, that’s only fair. Sorry.”

I get into more trouble at night when my clock turns off at 10 pm and hers keeps ticking away until about two in the morning. For about four hours there, it’s no-man’s-land for me. It’s one of those things that happens with lots of marriages because of the reality that opposites attract. The night person marries the morning person. The talker marries the quiet one. The casual marries the dressy. The toothpaste tube middle-pusher marries the bottom-pusher. It’s all about getting along. Maybe we can take a little of what it takes to get along in a marriage and apply it to other people we find difficult. In a marriage, love overcomes. In any relationship, the same thing can happen. And if we’re going to focus on our differences, at least we should celebrate them instead of getting annoyed by them.

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7 Responses to Managing differences

  1. johnhaak says:

    Great point John that all this comes back to love in the midst of differences. Thanks because that is the best answer although some will consider it too general or vague. I think it was Walt McCuiston at PBC that said this about differences: Recognize them, Appreciate them [your ‘celebrate’?] and then finally Encourage them. That has always sounded right to me in embracing God’s design and gifts and not just being “tolerant” of them. [There’s a provocative title for you: “Tolerance Is Over-rated”]

    • bobenearSeattle says:

      It’s interesting how the term “tolerance’ is bandied about these days as if it were a noble or honorable objective when in reality, as John had written a few Catch’s ago, “Tolerance is weak.”
      I like Wendell Willkie’s quote on tolerance:
      “No man has a right in America to treat any other man tolerantly,
      for tolerance is the assumption of superiority”

      Love should be the bulls eye we’re aiming for.

      • Sandie says:

        Unfortunately, ‘tolerance’ is being interpreted as agreement and acceptance of another’s view – rather than just an agreement that you have a right to have your view.

  2. Sandie says:

    John – you have the gift of speaking truth as it is revealed to your heart. If you have offended, those offended have missed the point you’re trying to make clear. Personally, I am appalled at this election cycle and the lack of respect and integrity displayed by too many. Only God can bring something good out of this and we should be on our knees every day seeking wisdom. You speak truth John, and sometimes truth offends. You exhort us to be our best selves as we allow Christ to live through our lives. You exhort us to treat everyone with utmost respect and integrity, to honor the God who created us all in His image. Thank you brother.

  3. cehall406 says:

    Your words could not have been more true! I experience many of the same things you mentioned and I agree that applying the same tolerance and acceptance to others that we do to our spouses makes life much better for all of us!

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