Monday, November 23, 2009

Humility, Patience

Every so often, I try to train myself to resist the urge to speak when what I say will not have any effect, and in fact, will only agitate a situation. So far, I am not making much progress.

That might not be true. If I am still trying to change my ways in this area of my life, then I suppose that, in itself, is progress. Eventually, maybe I'll really succeed and zip my lips when I need to do that.

Here are examples of what I mean.

I know this woman who seems to be intelligent, but she always forces her political opinions on everyone she runs into. I have seen people try to back away from her because she gets so intense. Problem is, she has a position where we all must run into her at least once a month. It's not so bad that she airs her opinion so forcefully, but she does not allow that anyone else's opinion might be worth listening to. Early on, I used to try to reason with her, explaining my view. We ended up not speaking for weeks. Then I realized that no matter what any of us say, she will not budge from her stand. When we try to speak our minds, too, we end up just getting ourselves upset. Is it worth it? Nope, because nothing we say will change the situation. If her view does ever change, it will need to come from someone special that the Lord sends her way.

Another example is a loved one, almost family. Many, many times a week, we have "words." Mostly, it's because, again, his view is the "only" view, but he doesn't see that it is the case. He's a strong fellow, and street-wise. Often, he's told me that I'm the only one he has words with. I have seen others try to reason with him, or even casually debate something, and then they look at him, and I see that they are afraid to cross him. He's not going to hurt them, but they have the feeling that they don't want to take a chance. So I'm the only one who speaks their mind to him. Is it worth it? Nope, because nothing I say will change his view. Again, some day, hopefully, the Lord will send him someone who he will listen to.

Meanwhile, I have to ask myself why I think my view is so important that I must make it clear and acceptable to these people. By feeling so hurt when they do not "listen," I'm, in effect, trying to impose my views on them. So, who's wrong here? I don't think any of us are wrong for having views. But I think I need to practice some humility and keep my mouth shut when speaking up will do no good except to upset me, and possibly the other person, too.

Father, once more, I ask for enough grace to resist the urge to speak up when it is not required.

No comments: