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December 11, 2012

silenceI woke up this morning with one word on my heart… silence.
I’ve been struggling with a relationship for some time now and honestly, I’ve had feelings of anger and sadness. If I allow them to surface, they take over my focus. So, I’ve kept them at bay. In other words, I’ve stuffed them. I am a stuffer. I can very easily push the “delete” button and move on. Over the years, I’ve learned that stuffing doesn’t work. Sooner or later we all bust at the seams and in the meantime, the anger and sadness can quickly turn to bitterness and envy.
Having said that, I now try to talk about my differences with others in a very gentle, loving and open way. I try not to let things brew for a long time, but to lay them out in the open and discuss them. Christ tells us in the Bible that when we have differences with others we are to stop what we’re doing, go and make amends and then come back to worship. I’ve worked very hard at this over the years. Yet, today, God’s guidance said, “Remain silent.”
I’ve walked through the morning with that on my heart. I’ve spent time in prayer and with my Bible. And I came upon the book of James. In James 3:7-13, I found what I needed. James tells us that we can tame all kinds of animals, but that no one can tame the tongue. He goes on to say, “With the tongue, we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring…?”
What he is saying is that we must be careful with our words. We simply cannot allow our raw emotions to take over and explode in words that come from an angry place. We cannot praise God in one moment and curse someone in another. I realized that my need to remain silent was because my heart wasn’t in the right place. Before speaking, I needed to find a more spiritual place before entering into any further discussion. I needed to be able to put myself in their shoes, to see the situation from their perspective and to approach with humility and understanding. It’s only in this way that I would enable myself to talk without hurting someone else’s heart.
Relationships are messy. But, relationships are worthwhile. Some take more forgiveness and grace than others. Yet, all relationships deserve open, honest and heartfelt conversations that demonstrate what we are experiencing in a peaceful and Godly manner.
Today, I choose to remain silent until I am able to spend more time in someone else’s shoes.
Do you have relationships that need forgiveness and grace? Can you, too, take the time to see the situation from someone else’s perspective? Do you need to open your eyes to see that someone else may also be hurting? With Christmas upon us, we not only celebrate Christ’s birth. We are also reminded of His wonder and love, His mercy, forgiveness and grace. Do we need to offer the same to someone else?

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