Some people like to be in control. I like to be in control. I like to know things and help others to know what I know. I like giving advice. I don’t mind taking advice as long as I get to share my ideas with someone. When there is a discussion, I enjoy being able to answer people’s questions and even their arguments about a particular subject. And sometimes I just can’t let the conversation end without having my ‘say’. All of that is a ‘pride’ issue that needs attention, especially in my spiritual journey.

So imagine my delight when reading about a conversation that the late Dallas Willard had in one of his classes. Dallas was a spiritual role model for so many people and in this particular session shared a great piece of wisdom.

Here’s how it unfolded:

   “At the end of a class Dallas was teaching, a student was feeling arrogant and antagonistic. He raised his hand and mentioned a disagreement he had with Dallas that was both obnoxious and wrong. 

   A person who was in the class was waiting for Dallas to demolish the guy, which he could easily have done. I joke sometimes that I never get into an argument with Dallas because I am afraid he will prove I don’t exist. So this student was waiting for Dallas to lower the boom. Dallas said, “Well, I think that’s a good place for the class to end. Let’s just stop there, and then we will pick it up next time.”

   Another student asked him, “Why did you do that, because you could have just let the guy have it? Why didn’t you let him have it?” 

   Dallas’s response was, “I am practicing the discipline of not having the last word.”

(As told by John Ortberg in the book based on teachings by Willard entitled ‘Living In Christ’s Presence’.)

Give it a try and see if it doesn’t make room in your soul for God’s life to be more active.

2 thoughts on “THE LAST WORD

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