Chris Ackerman

Goodbye Know-It-All

2013-09_LT-LovingRight
Throughout my whole life, I can regrettably say that I have been that judgmental and know-it-all person, almost always seeing myself in the right, and ready to give my opinion and tell others when I’m right and they’re wrong. There was this intense desire for me to be right, because in my mind, being right meant that people would listen to me and respect me, right? Eh, not so much . . .

The Dilemma

As I began to fully live into community life at Covecrest this year, it became harder to be that person I described above, because, well, not many people really enjoy being around someone who constantly corrects them or always thinks that they are right. Although I desired to change from being that person, it proved to be rather difficult, but it all started to come together when I committed myself to being more loving than right.

To help me follow through with my commitment, I decided that I was going to go to “battle” for myself against my uncharitable and often sinful tendencies. I began to fight for who the Lord wanted me to be, and I started with a battle plan.

My Battle Plan

  • Pray.
    As much as I can try to change myself on my own, I won’t get very far. As St. Paul says in his Letter to the Philippians: “I can do all things in him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). If I wanted to fight a battle, would I not want someone who has already won the war on my side? I want someone who knows what they are doing, who knows me (Jeremiah 1:5), and who will give me the strength to fight the battle.The best part about prayer is that God is just waiting for me to come to Him. The Catechism says, “If you knew the gift of God! The wonder of prayer is revealed beside the well where we come seeking water . . . It is he who first seeks us and asks us for a drink . . . God thirsts that we may thirst for him” (CCC 2260). God seeks me first, so that I may seek Him fully and that He may change my heart.
  • Choose Love.
    Choosing love is all about humility. It’s all about putting the other first and myself last. This one is especially hard when we live in a world that’s all about building up the self. So often, we place so much stock in what we have to say or how others see us, that we forget about the other person. It’s so easy to inflate ourselves in showing off our knowledge and wisdom, but it is often very hard to put ourselves second.Choosing love over being right means that, even though I may be right, it’s not always necessary to state it, and I can just simply “let it be” when things would only spark into an unnecessary argument. It’s not always easy to choose love when we’re hurt or offended or when we know that we are right, but when we choose love, we are saying to the other person, “You are more important than what is between us.” 

The Outcome

Being loving more than being right is a hard thing to do, but throughout this year, in praying for the Lord to help change my heart and in intentionally choosing to love, He has truly transformed me into a much more loving and compassionate person. It has very much changed the way I see people and the way I react in most every situation. When I started choosing love, I started to listen more. I began to see more than just the differences or arguments. I began to see the person behind it all. Most importantly, I began to love the people whom Christ is calling me to love.

Ultimately, when it comes to being a Christian, being right will probably not be what brings people to Christ. It will be how I love.

Love wins. God wins. Expect miracles.

Chris Ackerman

About the Author

During my last year of college, I felt the Lord's call to be a missionary so that I could serve Him alone. I'm crazy about the Church, and I love the Eucharist. My other loves are mowing the grass, a hot cup of coffee, and cooking great food. If you'd like to contact me, email me at [email protected]