We all have pet peeve sins that get under our skin and make us itch. Jon, my husband, and I have different pet peeve sins – something we’ve known about each other for a while.
I hate arrogance and dishonesty in all forms, and I have little tolerance for know-it-all behavior. Jon hates self-absorption and sees selfishness as the root of most of problems. We both deeply value when people are quick to apologize and recognize their shortcomings.
These pet peeve sins aren’t things most people would be able to name in Jon or I, but it’s amazing how much they influence our relationships.
It wasn’t until I’d been married to Jon for several months that I realized I had an inaccurate understanding of the word liar. In my mind, you were a liar if you did not tell the truth.
I don’t remember the details of the night or even what Jon said that wasn’t true, but I do remember that I labeled him a liar feeling fully justified in my accusation. I honestly wasn’t expecting a rebuttal, so I was surprised when Jon explained to me that he was not a liar because he did not intend to deceive me. It took more than Jon’s simple explanation to help me see the truth in what he was saying, because I hate feeling misled.
The more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve realized that my desire for honesty is so strong because I struggle to trust others and let go of control. Any miscommunication or last minute change of plans when I was told things would be another way can feel like a personal affront.
One of the things I love about the Enneagram is the way it opened my eyes to the fact that we all emphasize different good qualities of God too highly. Transformation comes from seeing a fuller picture of God and learning to live out of our authentic identity in Christ.
I emphasize God’s goodness and perfection, and I love that about him. But my tendency to value those qualities above other good qualities of God has shaped my pet peeve sins. Because I am so aware of how humanity falls short of God’s perfect design, I struggle with people who act superior and fail to admit their own brokenness.
God hates all sin with the perfect amount of emphasis. It’s so easy for us to let some sins slide while condemning other evils. Too often, we end up looking like the same Pharisees that crucified our Lord.
I fall short and wrongly accuse my husband as a liar, but I never do so outside of God’s grace. God has given me relationships and tools like the Enneagram to sanctify me in the midst of my mistakes. I still struggle with the messiness of it all, but I know that Christ is at work in the most messy and confusing places we find ourselves.
Unity is worth the work every time. Whether I am seeking greater unity with Christ or with my husband, I cannot reach it on my own. It takes the slow refinement that only Christ can cultivate in my heart. One of the biggest enemies of unity is failing to see outside of our own limited perspective. We are all guilty at times of having a narrow understanding of the God of the universe.
The more we love all the marvelous qualities of God, the more we will become who we were made to be.