I cringe inwardly. I want to intervene….Everything inside of me wants to scream out:
“No! That is wrong! That is not fair. That is not right.”
But I hold it in. I count to ten. I go through my list of questions:
1-Is this any of my business?
2-Is this against God’s Word?
3- Will someone be hurt if I don’t say something?
And the final question comes from deep within my soul. A prompting from the Lord that I have been hearing for months. This one is hard for me.
“Shelbi, what are you willing to sacrifice on your altar of ‘fairness’? What are you willing to sacrifice on your altar of ‘being right’? Your relationship with a loved one? Is it worth it? Someone else’s feelings?
4- My daughter, what are you willing to sacrifice to have your say in this situation?”
“I don’t want to sacrifice any of those things Lord. It is not worth it. Please change my heart.”
“Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 18:21
I have been going through this process with myself, and with the Lord, for months. Do I always listen to the still whisper in my heart? No. Sometimes I still open my mouth and wound others in the name of being right, and I am ashamed. You see I am a very opinionated, passionate person. I have a love and desire for justice. While I consider these to be good traits, it is from these characteristics that also comes some of my worst flaws. Unmanaged, I can be quick to give an opinion, and slow to listen. When I disagree with someone on an issue that is important to me, I am unrelenting in my pursuit of proving my point. You could say, I have perfected the art of beating a dead horse. My passion for justice can sometimes come out in petty ways in my personal life. I have learned that sometimes my love of justice often turns into a self-serving need for fairness. Honestly, there are times I selfishly just want people to know that “I am right”.
But the Lord has shown me the hurt that my unbridled tongue can cause. Particularly amongst those I am closest with. It is easy to hold your tongue and be kind with a stranger, but not so much within your inner circle and family. I do not want to be the person that always tells it like it is. I want to be kind-hearted and understanding. I want to be Grace. So I continue to pursue that goal, stumbling and falling along the way. But, someday, I hope to get there. Because what matters most in this life is people – not fairness or being right or even justice. People.
For, as I have learned, not everything that is said is true, and not everything that is true must be said.
Stumbling Towards Grace,