ssshhhhh

Posted: July 1st, 2010 | Filed under: life | 11 Comments »

We’ve all run into people we don’t agree with. And of course you’re right and they’re wrong. I mean, it’s so obvious. So, how do you deal with it? Do you keep your mouth shut or take advantage of the opportunity to broaden their horizons?

We’re all on our own journey. The scenery from one person to the next is so different, there’s no ground for comparison. Experiences mixed with genetic and environmental disposition are too unique.

We’re not aware of how off we are until life teaches us otherwise. Scripture tries to help us out and keep us from making fools of ourselves. I’m referring to the numerous scriptures that tell us to either keep our mouth shut or at least speak from a place that considers the fact that we’re mostly wrong.

We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. -1 Corinthians 13:9

The Bible isn’t talking about everybody else. It’s talking about everybody. I’m sure you’re a wild streak of awesome, but you’re not an exception. So, as sure as you think you are, you’re still mostly wrong. As self-congratulatory as I can feel about my own thoughts, scriptures like that make me think a few extra times before I speak them. Most of the time, it’s better to keep quiet.

Even dunces who keep quiet are thought to be wise; as long as they keep their mouths shut, they’re smart. -Proverbs 17:28

So, you may be worried about when you should speak up. My answer to that is to think about times when you were overwhelmed with patience and compassion for someone and knew exactly what to say and how to say it. Now compare that to the times when you felt it was your ‘Christian duty’ (ugh) to speak up in a situation. Hopefully you’ve never thought of something as your ‘Christian duty’, Aunty Em. And hopefully your own thought process is telling you things better than I can.

So, here’s the plan:

Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently. -Romans 14:1

Sit down if you can.

s

me when i grow up


11 Comments »


11 Comments on “ssshhhhh”

  1. 1 Sarah@From Tolstoy t said at 8:33 am on July 1st, 2010:

    I love your spirit and this timely word. Yes, more often than not, my quiet listening is more of a ministry of love than repeating pat answers for the hurting.

  2. 2 Jessica said at 11:08 am on July 1st, 2010:

    So very true! Unfortunately, I believe that those who actually follow this approach, and accept that we are all on our own journey, tend to be the ones who keep their mouth closed, when great insight could be provided. When we understand that someone else might not agree or might even perceive our own opinion as wrong, we might miss a teaching opportunity. I know I question whether or not I am going to offend another person with my words. At the same time, later, I often feel that I should have spoken up. So goes the battle. Do you help hold up a mirror to those who believe it is their 'Christian Duty' or do you stay silent? Personally, I make myself sick when I post something – will I be understood? will I be judged? are my words helping? do I even have the right? I believe I accept others, or at least try to be accepting; I am not perfect. At the same time, I know a lot of other people are not so accepting. Guess who tends to win? The squeaky wheel. I guess, my conclusion is, be accepting, but do not be afraid. It's not an easy line to walk. (I know I am not great at it!) Your words speak volumes, Serena! Thank you!

  3. 3 April said at 1:13 pm on July 1st, 2010:

    ahh. I like the balance your post strikes, Jessica.

  4. 4 Jen said at 1:48 pm on July 1st, 2010:

    Serena, I thought I understood your post until I read the comments and they pulled something different from it.

    I thought is was more about not speaking too much or too soon so you don't end up being that crazy person who is always pointing fingers and never realizing they're speaking out of turn.

    I just realized I may have taken this off the track a little, but that's how it spoke to me.

    Can you clarify?

  5. 5 Serena Woods said at 2:49 pm on July 1st, 2010:

    A short way to clarify what I'm trying to say is to take out all of the things I said and leave the scriptures behind.

    A person has to take the attention off of themself. 'Should I, shouldn't I?' It hints at the assumption that the salvation and right standing of another person relies on the right things being said. The thing is, scripture says that right and wrong are ingrained in us already. When we do something wrong, we already know it. There is a very real Holy Spirit who can direct us in a way we'll understand, respect and respond to. People don't have near the swagger that the Holy Spirit does. So, my advice is to stay out of the way unless the Holy Spirit chooses to move through you and when that happens, it's never a 'Should I? Shouldn't I.' It's always clear and always intensely compassionate and respectful. And most of the time you don't even know He's doing it.

  6. 6 Amy said at 2:56 pm on July 1st, 2010:

    I think it's the spirit from which we speak. Speaking truth in love is different than speaking truth just to prove a point.

    Then, there are those values that each one of us holds on to…those things we would be willing to die for. When we read, or hear, something that contradicts such a value, our passions rise up within, and we are compelled to speak up. I wouldn't say it's wrong to let our voices be heard, however, unless there is a heavy dose of love and humility, it would probably be better for us to remain silent.

    I wish I could say that I've followed this advice every time I've opened my mouth. Thankfully, God's grace is sufficient. Even for me.

  7. 7 Serena Woods said at 3:02 pm on July 1st, 2010:

    'I think it’s the spirit from which we speak. Speaking truth in love is different than speaking truth just to prove a point.'

    'I wouldn’t say it’s wrong to let our voices be heard, however, unless there is a heavy dose of love and humility, it would probably be better for us to remain silent.'

    love it. 🙂

  8. 8 Erin said at 3:10 pm on July 1st, 2010:

    Amy, you said it better than I could. I was trying to think of a way to clarify what I got out of it and you nailed it!

    Serena, you're so right about the Holy Spirit using you when you're not aware of it. Perfect!

  9. 9 April said at 4:17 pm on July 2nd, 2010:

    "So, my advice is to stay out of the way unless the Holy Spirit chooses to move through you and when that happens, it’s never a ‘Should I? Shouldn’t I.’ It’s always clear and always intensely compassionate and respectful. And most of the time you don’t even know He’s doing it." YES!! Love this. This is going on my mirror… I need this to remind myself. So so true. Love this, Serena. really helped me!

  10. 10 TheNorEaster said at 9:54 pm on July 4th, 2010:

    Sadly, I have become one who keeps quiet, even when I might be able provide good insight.

    And I guess part of that my simply wondering, "Is anyone listening…?"

  11. 11 suzy said at 3:31 am on July 5th, 2010:

    A beautiful and refreshing post. I'm so glad to have stumbled upon your blog today.

    Warmly~

    suzy


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