Last month I had a couple come to me at the church for marriage counseling. Though I’m not a professional counselor, I do meet with couples from time to time to try to assist them in the spiritual components of their relationship. Of course, in my mind it’s all spiritual, but they don’t usually agree until after we’ve met.

I digress.

After describing their many problems, the couple informed me that they thought their only option was divorce. They did have problems, and many of those problems had become severe, but to me nothing they described sounded insurmountable. I told them as much, but they were unwavering. They felt like they had to get a divorce because, in the end, they simply weren’t compatible.

I hear that idea often: incompatibility. It seems to be one of our favorite excuses for losing in life and avoiding victory like the plague.

We can’t work together because our management styles are incompatible.

We can’t attend the same church any longer because our worship preferences aren’t compatible.

We can’t stay married because we’re sexually incompatible.

The truth is no two people on earth are compatible. You might get along with some folks better than others, more effortlessly than others, for longer than others, but your differences will always swell to an eventual incompatibility.

Nobody gets along for long unless they’re willing to renew their minds. If you’re going to experience victory in your relationships with other people, you must be willing to die to your own desires, your own preferences, and your own ego. You’ve got to put the sinful nature to death and invite the Spirit to change the way you think and the way you live.

This couple wasn’t compatible, but they could have been. If, by renewing the mind, the husband learns to love his wife in such a way that she feels valued, secure, and esteemed, and the wife learns to love her husband without trying to boss him around or nag him about the house, then the marriage will start working.

What you have to understand is that—whether in business, or marriage, or friendship—there is no victory without Christ.

You will always sabotage yourself. You will always, at the root, be “incompatible” with others. You will always defeat yourself. Because you need him to win.