Keeping my mouth shut hasn’t always been my greatest skill. If the situation arises, it feels so good to just say what I think. But in retrospect, the consequences haven’t always been desirable. Today was one of those days when it was best to chose a plan of action based on keeping good relationships and doing what was best for the other person.
I have a good friend who twists innocent words into a meaning that best reflects her past hurts. She home schools her children and does a good job at it, but she has had comments from others about it not being the best thing to do. I made a comment about the children being home schooled and how it was a different form of education than I have been accustomed to. The next thing I knew, she had blown the remark out of proportion, and accused me of insulting the core of her family. There were several things I could have said, one of which she didn’t have a right to misrepresent the meaning of my words, but I knew that would only hurt her further. So I kept quite and said I would talk to her later when I have prayed about it. In the meantime, I have asked the Lord to show me how to say loving but wise words. I feel like telling her to go take a hike; maybe the Lord will change that before I get back with her.
Later today, I painstakingly watched a young man empty my trailer at the landfill. He was taking one board at a time and throwing it as far as he could, much like a kid would do. I was gritting my teeth, because I wanted that trailer emptied, and I didn’t want to ruin any further prospects of hiring him again if the need was great. About that time, a man pulled up next to us and was telling me how good it was that I was having the nice young men learn how to work. I knew better than say anything to him, even when he pressed the point. I smiled over my gritted teeth some more, and remained silent. It took them an hour and a half to empty it. I did some quick calculations to see if it was worth the cost to me. Yes, I wasn’t able to do it myself, and it is hard to find anyone who will shovel insulation and rotten lumber. Good choice.
Last Sunday I had to state my cause at church with logic and facts and then walk out of the room. I desperately wanted to whine and snivel some, but remained silent about those feelings.
Am I a better person for exercising control over my mouth? Probably so, but just once can I go out under a busy bridge and shout all the things I would really like to say?
James 3:18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.