Things not said . . .

Last night, I was the speaker at a Ladies Tea. It was a perfectly lovely evening in every way. The theme of the evening was "You are the light of the world." My message looked at why we may experience darkness, and how we can let our light shine. It was full of my trademark word pictures and illustrations. I had used candles in my presentation, and unknown to me, their theme song for the week leading up to the tea (Missions Week) was "Light Your Candle." My friend and I joked “It’s a God thing!”

So why did I feel unsettled when it was over? The truth is - I knew that my message was not what it could have been. Not what it should have been.

It didn't occur to me until afterwards that what was missing was my personal testimony of how God met me in a dark place and how He delivered me into His light. I'm still not quite sure why I hadn't thought of that earlier, but perhaps it's because He wants me to share it with an even wider audience. And so, tomorrow I will share my story with you.

Today, I’m thinking about things not said. Now to be honest, many people, including me, have regrets about things that they did say. Words spoken in anger or out of spite. Words spoken in haste. Words spoken before thinking. Open mouth, insert foot. And I have certainly had my fair share of those moments. But, for me, I have even more regrets about things I have left unsaid. Times that I was silent for God. Times that I wasn't honest in saying how I feel. Times when afterward I would say all those things I’d wanted to say, but say them to my steering wheel or showerhead.

Why? Why did I keep silent when I knew I should have spoken?
Out of fear. To avoid confrontation. To appear to be a better person than I am. There are many reasons why. None of them good.

I know that there are times when I should keep silent and times when I should speak up. Scripture says there’s “a time to be silent and a time to speak.” Eccl. 3:7
It’s how to know when to be silent and when to speak that requires discernment first, and then the boldness to speak or the patience to remain silent. To help me along, I memorized two Bible verses:

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Col. 4:6
“Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent…” Prov. 17:28
or as an olden proverb says: “It’s better to be silent and be thought a a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

Now when I find myself unsure about whether to speak up or remain silent (but silently speak to God), I pray and ask God to bring one of these verses to mind. Then I can act with the confidence that comes from knowing that I am in God’s will whether I speak or keep silent.



Diane said...

I wanted to let you know I’ve been probing around the site; I absolutely your writings (and the graphics too). I truly find the messages inspiring. God has gifted you well!

Robbie said...

Thank you so much.You handed me your card today.Reading this blog has given me much peace which I needed.Thanks.

Maria said...

I think you are too hard on yourself.
Have a Happy Mother's Day.