The end of arguments, many times, comes in the form of a boot-kick. A boot-kick signifies a finality (think of the kid in A Christmas Story being kicked down the slide by Santa, when the T3 knocks off of the head of the Terminator or a Shawn Michaels’ super kick). It’s putting the exclamation  mark on a situation.

Really, the boot-kick in an argument is the final word. Whether it’s one more cutting remark or a defiant gesture, it’s a way for us to feel like we’ve got the upper hand, the most control over a situation. Many times, it’s our pride that gets in the way.

When we get into an argument, the temptation of the boot-kick is hard to resist. Yet it does the most damage usually. John Ortberg suggests that we each have a quarter second given us to make that decision, and we can choose a better way rather than a destructive way. We can choose to give the boot-kick or to hold back. Sure, we may feel the other person deserves it (or we think we feel better afterwards). But the boot-kick tends to augment the argument than draw it to closure. It’s hard, but it’s something that we can take a step back to do in those situations.

What might hold you back from giving that boot-kick?