John Markum

Dead Right

Have you heard the expression of being “dead wrong?” Dead wrong is not just having your facts incorrect. Dead wrong is being so blind to the fact that you’re wrong that you get argumentative, defensive, even belligerent about something, only to find out later that you were not even right to begin with. You end up feeling kinda stupid and ashamed for getting so fired about about something you didn’t even have right. You weren’t just wrong. You were dead wrong.

If there’s anything worse than being dead wrong, it’s probably being dead right. A friend I was talking to this week introduced me to the term, and it was a powerful thought. Being dead right is very similar to being dead wrong. When you’re dead right you have the correct information. Your facts are accurate. But because you know you’re right, you end up being more confident.

And so in an argument the person with the right answers or perspective makes stands that are not worth taking. They end up winning a battle but losing the war. Has this ever happened to you? You were right. They were wrong. The fight got out of hand and the other person walked away. You know you were right, but you still feel like it’s your fault. It might be because you were dead right.

This happens in marriages all the time. One spouse gets upset at something the other did/didn’t do. And instead of calling them out on it in a loving way that still shows care for the other person, they use their “right” position as a weapon to attack the other person. The end result? They end up dead right. Correct about their information. Incorrect in their approach. What was probably a simple situation now has great hurt attached to it. They said they were going to do the dishes and they didn’t. Now that you’ve humiliated them by verbally beating them up over it, the dishes are still dirty, and your wife/husband doesn’t want to even look at you. The dishes would have taken 20 minutes to clean. Now it’ll take several hours or even days to recover peace and harmony in your home.

You know what being dead wrong has in common with being dead right? You’re still dead. I would rather be wrong than dead right. Wrong happens. Wrong is fixable. Dead right is personal. Dead right stings. Dead right is not love.

Purpose in your heart now that you will refuse to be dead right. When some else has done wrong by you, you will seek forgiveness and reconciliation, and not character assassination of the other person. Decide that you will use your right position as an opportunity to help the other person, not break them.

Knowledge is knowing the right stuff. Wisdom is understanding how to use it.



Minute to Lose it

I watched a very exciting episode of the new game show, Minute to Win It, with my wife the other day. It’s a very creative idea for a TV show and seems to be very family oriented: a breath of fresh air in such a value-deficient media. And who said only bad news sales?!

But as I got thinking about the concept, I began thinking of things that take a considerably longer time to earn, yet could be ruined in a brief moment of poor judgement. Doubtlessly, you can think of others to add to this list:

  • A good marriage. Takes half a lifetime to get right. Easily ruined in a variety of ways, and in less time than it takes to say “I did.”
  • Respect. You can work your whole life to develop the respect of your peers, children, spouse, and co-workers. One whoops can ruin a thousand at-a-boy‘s.
  • Health. Probably the first on the list that can be lost innocently. You can workout, lift weights, do routine cardio-aerobics, etc… One bad hit during a pick-up game and your limping for weeks (or longer).
  • Sobriety. From any substance. As Mark Twain once said, “Breaking the smoking habit is easy… I’ve done it hundreds of times.” You haven’t touched a drop of alcohol in years, and one tough day can push you to urges you haven’t given in to for a long time.
  • Purity. Once you cross those lines, you can’t uncross them. Losing something so precious and valuable to someone who has no intentions of committing to you is why God insists that sexuality be reserved for the safety of marriage. Plus, it saves you from a very uncomfortable conversation with the person you will marry.
  • Friendships. Some develop faster than others, but the best ones are always those that are forged by time. Good friendships are all too often torn apart by one act of betrayal, gossip, or selfishness.

Did you notice? None of these things are worth any amount of money. You would likely be very willing to empty every bank account you possess in order to keep the things on this list or in order to get them back. Don’t trade your most valuable possessions for something that is temporary and worth far less!



The phrase no pain, no gain has been a mantra for athletes and fitness junkies for years. And what they understand about physical pain needs to be broadened to a much more general use in all of our lives. Pain hurts. That's the whole problem. No one enjoys it, and if someone does, we rightfully

The Premium of Pain