I Like to Be Right.

I like to be right. Let me restate that, I need to be right. It’s one of those ongoing flesh-versus-spirit battles in my life. I want people to see my point of view and agree with me.  Seriously, I went to college on a debate scholarship—I don’t just want you to listen to me, I want to persuade you to my point of view.  Always.

I need to be right www.terilynneunderwood.com/blog

No where is this more evident than in my relationship with my child.  Recently in the mall, we walked past Victoria’s Secret.  The girl casually mentioned she’d like a PINK sweatshirt.  Immediately I launched into my “We do not shop there, especially not with the indecent tween-targeted marketing practices they have adopted” speech.  As we moved past Victoria’s Secret and continued toward Chick-Fil-A where we can buy fried food and sweet tea with no moral qualm, I kept explaining why we wouldn’t—shouldn’t!—buy a sweatshirt.

At one point, my girl said, “But mom, I don’t want the trashy panties, I just want a sweatshirt that says PINK.  What is wrong with that?” I was so frustrated!!  I mean, surely at 13 she is wise enough to understand why we couldn’t buy a sweatshirt from the store that sells the “trashy panties.”  Had I taught her nothing?  What was so hard about this?

So, again, I began my recitation of the evils of inappropriate marketing practices and  the generally degrading view of women the trashy panties for tweens represent. As we neared Chick-Fil-A, I noticed her eyes were glazed over and she looked at me and said, “Okay.  So no sweatshirt.  Can I have a sweet tea?”

What does this have to do with humility, you ask?  Here’s the lesson I learned:  she’s not me and she’s not going to be me.  It’s not fair for me to expect her to think like I do and agree with everything I say.  No joke, I really wanted her to say, “Oh Mom!  You are so right.  Obviously we cannot spend any money at Victoria’s Secret. In fact, we should write a letter or start an online campaign to make people aware of how dangerous their message about women is and the potential for harm it has for girls my age.”

Yeah, I’m a dork.  She’s 13.  She wanted a sweatshirt.  I was trying to make a point, to be right.  And, I am right.  We aren’t shopping at Victoria’s Secret, even for a sweatshirt.  But she doesn’t have to understand why.  She’s a child.  I didn’t need to be right in her eyes.  She really doesn’t even have to agree with me.  She simply has to be respectful and obey, even if she disagrees.  (Which, for the record, she is.)

Being less significant requires letting go of that need to be right, to persuade others to my point of view.

I have a feeling this journey to understanding humility, this learning to be less significant is going to be a lot harder than I expected.

but in humility graphic www.terilynneunderwood.com

What hard lessons are you learning lately?

image source

{linking up with the amazing community at The Better Mom … check out all the awesomeness there!}


 {and linking up with my beautiful friend Denise … because life blooms in all sorts of ways!}

Read the Psalms this summer with Scripture Dig!


  1. OH Terri, can I relate to this post! Me too, Me too! Thank you for sharing this to help me see so clearly what I knew and yet didn’t see or understand. Humility takes on SO many forms, doesn’t it? Now that I see the problem is making the adjustment in attitude, actions and words. That will take God’s strength, for I have been this way longer than I ever realized. He said all things are possible to those who believe, so here we go!

  2. I fear you are fighting self, nature and nurture in this one, Teri. We come from a family where the need to be right is strong. It is a fierce battle.


  1. […] Terri Lynne gets honest about how she likes to be right, and shares a story about a time with her daughter and a Lesson In Humility! […]

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