“I need a week,” I told him. “I want to talk about this well, and right now, I just can’t.” One of my teens needed to discuss something super important…life-changing-style important…but I’d lost so much sleep and been emotionally keyed up for so long, I knew I wouldn’t do it well.
Knew I’d dishonor God more than I already had with this kid.
Knew I’d say things I would regret later.
Things that couldn’t be taken back.
Things that would make a lasting impact, no matter how sorry you were.
So I chose to keep my mouth shut until I’d had some sleep.
My pastor says that 8 hours of sleep on a consistent basis is next to Godliness.
I believe him.
And I don’t think it’s just a saying of his, I think it’s rooted in a ton of real life experiences.
We get tired and we lose self control.
We get tired and we get selfish.
Several days later, something happened that set off an emotional chain reaction for me. I felt my heart racing, caught my breath, and chose in that moment to not say a single word. Anger, rooted in fear, threatened to bubble out of my mouth onto someone I claim to love. So I chose, once again, not to say anything until I had my emotions under control.
I was later able to say, “I was hurt that xyz occurred,” and talk through the issue, instead of verbally vomiting all over someone.
And about 20 times a day, I realize I’m not really listening, but rather thinking of what someone else needs to know. Some tidbit of wisdom they seem to be lacking, and I, of course, can readily provide it. More and more, God is silencing me, helping me listen well, build the relationship, so that when they are interested in advice, they’ll feel comfortable coming to me. I think He and I will be forever working on this one. We’ve been at it for over two decades already.
Because people are only interested in advice
when they are interested in advice.
Advice given to others who don’t want it is a complete waste of time and effort.
At any rate, there are times when we need to keep our mouth shut:
- When we’re lacking sleep
- When we don’t have emotional control
- When we’re tempted to give advice instead of listening
That last one is a “Excuse me, your pride is showing.”
I would rather it be, “Excuse me, your Jesus is showing.”
Dear God, please make it so.
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters:
You must all be quick to listen,
slow to speak,
and slow to get angry.
I appreciate your patience with me as I start getting back in the saddle of ministry things…and can’t wait to talk with you today. 🙂
What about you? When else do you think it is wise to just not say a single thing?
And I’m just so thankful we’re on this journey together! Can’t wait to hear from you on this today…and if you aren’t signed up for the TIPS! articles over in the sidebar, know we’d love to send you the free info. 🙂
Love to you,