“Just keep your mouth shut.”
This has been my mantra to myself in this season of my life. I’ve never been accused (by an adult) of using all the words or babbling excessively or writing something in 800 words that could really be written in 200, but…the older I get…I seem to be getting
a little more opinionated and I’m catching myself wanting to “fix” things that are broken with my nuggets of wisdom (that’s sarcasm people).
More specifically (and most transparently) I’m wading through the waters of watching my grown children make their own decisions. Some of which I know I cautioned them to make differently. GASP!!
I know I’m not alone in this. Come on now.
I’ve been reading a book this Summer with some other ladies and it is stretching my faith. It’s challenging me in many areas of my life but this one issue about my words…my tongue…yeah.
What I’m learning first hand this season has got me kind of excited though.
“Too much talk leads to sin.
Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.”
The only way I know how to explain it is just to say that the more I keep my mouth shut, the more room God seems to have to work out His plan.
I’m visual…picture this:
We have planted seeds into our children for 19-22 years.
Some have started to break through the soil, others are still being worked underground.
They were quality seeds, they were planted in good soil, we’ve watered them consistently over the years, they will produce vibrant, healthy character traits.
If I try to talk those seeds out of the ground, my efforts are futile.
Sometimes when I’m so focused on waiting for something specific to sprout up, I miss out on something else blooming to my right or left.
Does that make sense?
(Side note: Seeds are cool, we can learn a lot from them, but that’s another post for another day)
Now, I know that God is much too big to let me get in the way, but there are times that I know I’ve spoken up when I shouldn’t have and I sense that He is sitting in a comfy chair in the corner of my mind saying “go on…you seem to know what you’re doing…let’s see how this works out”…ahem.
While God does care deeply about the details of my life, I remind myself that it’s really not even about me. As Christians, it’s about Him.
Its about pointing people to what He has done for us (and them). Pointing people to the fact that He set all of this up down here and His ways are best. Pointing people to the fact that while we can get so tangled up in the details of raising our children, bettering our marriages, climbing the corporate ladder, and doing whatever we need to do to move past our past regrets or hurts, this life is fleeting.
I’m realizing that this “pointing” is better accomplished with fewer words and more action.
**I love that Chick Filet cooked on a Sunday to nourish those grieving in Orlando recently. They didn’t announce it in a news conference. They just did it.
**I love that our dear friends sold everything and moved to another state to feed the hungry. They didn’t make a 6 month business plan for this, they were serving the poor within their first week. They just did it.
**I love that my church doesn’t just pray for those in need around us, they actually reach out and contact these people. They give away free clothes and hygiene items and pet food. They just do it.
**I love that my husband doesn’t talk about the importance of good work ethic with our children, he walks the walk. He just does it.
Actions speak loud.
Here’s what I know.
When I feel tempted to use all my words, it’s usually because I’m anxious about something. The Bible tells me not to worry. Frankly, this takes practice. It takes discipline.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear…”
The Bible tells me to roll over what’s got me bothered onto Him.
“Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.”
The Bible tells me it doesn’t go well for the one with the most words.
“The wise in heart accept commands,
but a chattering fool comes to ruin.”
This is just a smattering of instructions along this vein of my mantra in this season.
What I see happening around me is that God has more room to work things out that my words were probably making little impact on anyhow.
When we do things the way He set up before the beginning of time…it just works.
Kinda like this…
I have a burden or strain or a time of confusion…which leads to reminding myself that He tells me not to worry…which leads me to rolling it over onto Him to take care of…which leads to me using fewer words with those around me…which leads to my faith being built up and strengthened in Him…which leads to Him being pleased with me…which at times, leads to Him using my words to point others to Him. Humble privilege.
I’m less stressed, less burdened, the people I am so worried about are hearing from God (not me), I’m out-of-the-way, He is leading, He’s more pleased with me and I feel closer to Him than ever.
This is where freedom lies.
He is glorified—not me—and when that happens—it’s really indescribable. I feel like we’re in this secret club together.
Would you like to join?
What is it that you are trying to fix?
Who is it that you are trying to fix?
Take it to the Lord. Roll it onto Him. He not only can handle it but He tells us to do it. Then, walk away from it. Seriously. Don’t talk about it unless it’s in a positive light. A light that says “God’s got this”…”I’m not worried about it anymore”…”His timing is perfect”…”That person doesn’t need more of me, they need more of Him“.
Our goal as believers should be to grow closer to Him. No matter our circumstances, that’s the goal. The ripple effect will include the rest of the Book.
Oftentimes, we aren’t growing closer to God because our hands and hearts are so full of our own stuff. We can’t grab hold of Him or keep up with Him because we are weighed down.
Let’s roll our burdens onto Him.
Open our hands and release whatever it is we are gripping so tightly.
Trust Him with that thing that has got us so tangled up inside.
Trust Him with that thing that tempts us to babble over and over and over about.
Speaking for myself, I’m gonna work on just keeping my mouth shut.