The silence of love


Last week we discussed the nuances of judgment. The thought we noodled was that we really are judging anytime we presume we know what another person can and can’t do or what they are thinking. Even if not in the sense of rendering our opinion on their character or actions, nevertheless, we are interjecting our opinion on what we think they are like (too busy, not interested). It seems softer but it still is analyzing them based on our opinions.


We may think we’re trying to walk in their shoes but what we’re really doing is putting on them our expectations and conclusions about them without really knowing what’s going on in those shoes. We actually could be pleasantly surprised if we just communicated with them to find out rather than make assumptions based on our judgments. As I was being prompted in my heart to address this probably human tendency, I was spurred on to look more deeply at my thoughts and words with others, especially in the context of when another makes a mistake.


This week a thing I care about was misplaced and actually cannot be retrieved. The loss was due to the actions of another. It took awhile for the mystery to be solved as to what happened to it. Thankfully, this gave me time to work with God on my feelings and for Him to grow me in handling these commonplace parts of normal life.


As I figured out the truth of what had happened, as time from the event gave me that opportunity, I was able to analyze the need to work on being too attached to things. I guess it’s only natural, but truthfully, with some exceptions, the things we lose are really not that important in the many cases in which we attribute such importance. I was given the blessing to recognize this tendency and incentivized to work on better establishing my priorities.


With time to calm my emotions and blessed insights given to address my priorities, I was also shown a new challenge. The person who caused the loss was unaware that he had done so. It was an accident. So at this point what was to be gained by my bringing it up at all? It would only be to explain the mystery had been solved and in this case would do nothing other than feed my pride. The other person would just feel judged. If I put myself in the other person’s shoes who would hear the explanation it would only make him feel failure and sadness, and for no good reason. So I decided to say nothing.


There are times when we must address another’s actions to right a wrong, to work on forgiveness, to speak against deliberate wrongdoing, to grow both people involved. Those are not the situations we’re pondering here. Rather there are countless times in our interactions with others when our words are not necessary to improve anything such as the one I am describing. It is in those times that perhaps we are given the opportunity to leap forward rather than walk on our spiritual journeys, for remaining silent at such times is a hard challenge for many of us.


Since this event and when processing other challenges which I’ve been faced with that in the past I may have commented upon, I’ve stopped before I open my mouth to say anything and ask, “Will these words help the situation? Are they needed? If not, will these words be hurtful or helpful to the hearer? If not necessary, and I say them, how would it feel to be in my brother or sister’s shoes?


It’s been an eye opening journey. In my lifelong quest to learn how to love in the way of Yeshua, I feel blessed that He reached out to me in this way to coax me along a bit further.


I think I’m finally understanding that in some cases , “Silence is golden”.


Give it a try.


Shabbat shalom.





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