Monday, October 11, 2010

Can of Worms

Can of Worms

Have you ever opened one of those? It's an expression we used to talk about something we said or did that got us a little more attention than we intended. We can open a can of worms by accident or intentionally, but either way it always takes on a life of it's own and gets away from the original intent.

Try and talk about religion with non-religous people or people who've got a grudge against God or the church. Try and talk about politics with people who don't agree with your politics. Talk about a senstive subject with someone who happens to be the sensitive one?

Sometimes we can open a can of worms and not even mean to. We may say something without realizing it, or we may say or do something and it is taken wrong, misunderstood, or out of context. Especially in the world of texting, facebook, email, twitter, and instant messages, it's very easy to misunderstand or be confused about someones intent because we can't see their facial expression, or voice tone, or look at them and understand correctly what they meant. Sometimes we think they mean one thing and they mean another. Many times we can think they are serious and they could be joking.

How many times have you gotten in a disagreement with a friend or loved one over something they said or something you said and you or they never meant for it to happen, it was simply a misunderstanding? It happens. It happens more than we'd like to admit. Especially when you are a forward, direct, not afraid to speak your mind person like I am, you have to be more careful what you say, and how you say it.

People are passionate about things. People are opinionated about things. People are emotional about things. Each of us are individuals with different feelings, emotions, temperments, personalities, etc...and because of that we are different, view things different, look at things different, and unfortuantely sometimes hear things different. Sometimes we can be quick to respond defensively or in anger to something we thought someone said about us or something we are senstive or passionate about, only to realize we blew it out of proportion or over-reacted. I can be very guilty of this. That's why James in the Bible said we must be "quick to listen and slow to speak."

I learned this lesson this past week. We must be careful what we say, because it's very easy for our words to be misunderstood, taken out of context, or sometimes to take a life of their own.

Now, sometimes a can or worms needs to be open. Nothing wrong with standing up for injustices, our faith, our beliefs, our convictions, within reason, but we must be very cautious that we got our facts straight, we are responding in love, not reacting in anger, and that we don't defeat ourselves by being negative. We must pick and choose our battles and choose wisely.

All of us have been on both sides of the issue. We have said things that stirred the pot and we've been stirred by something someone else has said or we thought they said. I've been there, I'm sure you have. So, we must be careful what we say, we must be careful to listen, ask questions, and make sure we have clarity and we give clarity, and also realize no matter what we say even if it is clear, people aren't always going to like or agree with what we say.

Either way, it's a great lesson for us all, becareful what you say,it could open a can of worms you don't want to open, and be careful how you react/respond because you could be doing so in misunderstanding. No matter what side you are on, I pray we all can honor God with our words, and show grace to others when their words hurt us or when ours hurts them.

My tongue will speak of your righteousness and of your praises all day long.

Psalm 25:28(NIV)

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