Some things are better left unsaid

With apologies to Hall and Oates, it is true that some things are better left unsaid. But, frustratingly, that isn't even close to the standard I should have for my life. I got to thinking about this a little and have found that there is quite a bit that is operating here that I need to get a handle on:
  • Something happens to me - I can't control this
  • I react to the situation - I can control some of this...maybe most of this but not all of it.
  • I judge the situation - I can control this.
  • There is a desire - I can control this - the desire is born out of my judgment of the situation. So, if I think the situation is unfair, for example, that will raise in me a certain desire. It is not the same all of the time, but the desire is still there.
  • There is an action - I can control this - either I do something or I don't do anything. Either way it seems to me that there is some type of action that is based on at least some of my reaction to the situation.
OK, this may need a bit more development, but here it goes. The reaction that I can control, it seems to me, can be based on some sort of anticipation of the event. If I anticipate someone punching me in the arm I can tense up the muscle so that it does not hurt as much. If someone catches me unawares - well, the resulting pain speaks for itself. So, anticipation is key here because I would be able to rehearse how I will judge the situation and attempt to control the desires that are born as a result of that judgment. I will also have the ability to rehearse the action that will result from the desire.

The trick is, though, so much of my life is unanticipated. It is here that I (and others) see who I am. If I am treated harshly, and it comes out of nowhere, what are my actions? What are my desires? That point is not the time where I should be making up my mind concerning what I believe. To the contrary that point reveals what I believe.

For me this means that I need to build Christ into my life right now so that when, for example, my "progress" on my list is interrupted by something out of my control I will not only leave that which should remain unsaid truly unsaid, but the desire for me to say it will be absent as well. Pushing it back even further now I long for my judgment of the situation to be saturated with Christ and how he would see that which I am faced with. Thanks be to God the Scriptures are replete with examples of his and his disciples' reactions to things even I face.

Running to my Bible to thumb through it when in a potential argument is simply not practical. It would be better for me to wear out the edges of it now so that when someone asks me if I was offended by a comment I can honestly say "yes" and that I have overlooked the offense (if it should be overlooked) the instant it was committed. Yes, Daryl and John, some things are better left unsaid, and oh how I wish that were the end of it.


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