“It’s My Way or the Highway.”


With the “it’s my way or the highway” mentality, the person is suggesting an ultimatum to the listener(s) who may be family members, co-workers, or fellow inmates. If you’re about to argue with a person with this mindset, the stakes can be high. What is implied is that you had better do exactly what they want or there will be severely negative consequences. 

A person with this attitude is known for his/her stubbornness, unwillingness to listen or even compromise. This is usually the controlling, superior partner, the domineering boss, the close-minded father, the leader of the gang. Such a person is often wrong, but never doubts that he/she is correct. This person has preconceived notions, and can’t be swayed to another way of seeing the situation.  He/she has no respect for another person’s opinion or life experience in similar situations. Such people are ready for a fight over every little thing, insisting that their position is the only position, and that their “right way” is the “only” right way?

Criminals need control and power over others.  The need for power, control, and dominance shows up in every area of their lives.  Their greatest power excitement comes from doing the forbidden and getting away with it.  

The fact is - life is not always going to go our way, we are not always going to get our way, and the people who disagree with us are not always going to hit the highway.  With this thinking error, it isn’t what happens to or around criminals that makes them unhappy. It is their way of thinking about the events of their lives that makes them turn to violence or crime when things don’t go their way, when everyone doesn’t agree with them.

1. The theological truth about this lie can be found in Acts. 20:22-24. What was Paul’s attitude, even though the Spirit had warned him that prison and hardships awaited him in every city?

2. Read Philippians 4:10-20.
  a) Was Paul naturally a contented person? (vs. 11)
  b) What were some circumstances in which Paul learned to be content? (v. 12)
  c) Why was Paul able to be happy, even when things weren’t going “his way.”

3. Read James 1:2-8.
  a) What response did James recommend when things are not going our way?
    (vs. 2)
  b) Why does he say this?
    (vs. 3)
    (vs. 4)
  c) How can a person handle the pressure in this situation?
    (vs. 5)
  d) What enables a person to get help from God?
    (vs. 6)

4. Read Genesis 15:1-5 and then Genesis 16:1-16. Here we see what happens when someone insists on doing things “her way.”
  a) What was Sarah’s suggestion for helping God keep His promise?
    (vs. 1-3)
  b) How did this alternate plan work out?
    (vs. 4)
    (vs. 5)
    (vs. 6)
  c) Was Sarah’s “way” or solution according to God’s will?
  d) What should they have done in this situation?

5. Absalom is another good example of a person who believed the “My Way” lie. Read II Samuel 15:1-12.
  a) What did Absalom do to promote himself?
    (vs. 1)
    (vs. 2-5)
    (vs. 6)
    (vs. 10)
  b) Now read 2 Samuel 18:1-18 to discover how this young man came to an end.
    (vs. 9)
    (vs. 14-15)
  c) Did Absalom accomplish his goals when he set out to make himself happy by seeking “his way?
    Explain your answer.

6. Read Hebrews 10:32-39.
  a) What difficulties did the Hebrews encounter following their conversions?
    (vs. 33a)
    (vs. 33b)
  b) How did the Hebrews act in the midst of these difficulties, when things were not going “their way?”
    (vs. 34a)
    (vs. 34b)
    (vs. 34c)
  c) What two things must accompany faith, if we are to receive God’s reward when things are not going our way? (v. 36a)
    (vs. 35a)
    (vs. 36a)
  d) What reason is there for being confident?
    (vs. 36)

7. What advice would you give a person operating under the “My Way” thinking error?

Continue to Chapter 4

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