Monday, April 20, 2009

Inside Voice: The Sequel

Inside Voice: The Sequel

I guess one article wasn't enough to talk about my big mouth. Last week we talked about saying things without thinking it through, whether they are accidental or not, sort of thinking before we speak.

However, there is another part of that. That is knowing when to stop talking, to be quiet, or to simply shut up. I'm guilty. There are times when I keep talking and I don't realize i should have stopped talking 10 minutes ago. Or there are times when we should not say anymore and just keep them to ourselves, but we don't. We don't stop.

You been there? You with me? How many arguments, problems, or issues could we avoid in our marriages, relationships with loved ones, our parents, our children, co-workers or bosses at work, or even our churches if we'd learn to keep quiet or let go of things that don't matter.

I agree there is a time to speak to let your opinion and feelings be heard. There is a time to stand up for what is right, and there is a time to defend yourself. But, many times like me, I pick the wrong times, or I don't realize the other person has a different personality than me. Not all people respond the same. Sometimes we are just flat out wrong and need to stop talking.

Kids badger parents after they told them no, church members gripe and complain because the chuch doesn't cater to them, spouses overeact to something the other spouse didn't say or do, we chew out a co-worker because we're grouchy or having a bad day, or we get into a disagreement with a friend and won't let it go.

My problem is I like to talk about things (yes I am like a woman). But, what I have trouble with is realizing that you can't always solve everything in one conversation and sometimes you have to take a break or come back to it when both parties are ready, willing, and mentally able to deal with whatever the conversation, issue, disagreement, or problem might be about. I have to learn that sometimes I just need to be quiet and give things time or give other people time to process things. Not everyone feels, thinks, or acts like me. Sometimes silence is best.

I write to encourage you today that as long as we are willing and open to it, we can change. We can mature and grow in areas of our lives where we are weak, blind, or have faults. Half the battle is admitting it or realizing it, then comes the tougher part, trying to overcome and deal with it. But, i can do it, you can do it, and then hopefully our lives will have better communication and healthier relationships and less tension, turmoil, and hurt feelings. I'm a work in progress, but I'm willing to work on it, how about you?

"Even a fool is thought to be wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue."
Proverbs 17:28(NIV)

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