There are plenty of times I hold my tongue. Those of you who know me are now rolling your eyes thinking, “Yeah right, Nicole.”
Okay, I guess you’re right. We’re both right. I don’t necessarily hold my tongue, I just don’t say what I really want to say because I’m worried about how it will be taken.
Holding our tongues can be a really good thing when we’re about to give an opinion on someone’s unconventional parenting or unique new hair style. It’s not such a good thing when it holds us back from giving someone our best authentic self.
Here’s what I mean. True story: I was sitting and having lunch with some other moms when we began talking about the mom’s high school daughter. The mom jokes that she just bought condoms for the first time in 20 years because she wants to tuck them in with the toiletries the daughter is packing for college.
She says, “I know she’s going to have sex, so I’d rather she be protected.”
I say, “Uh huh.”
WAIT. Wait right there. Did I just say, “Uh huh” because I agree or because I was too afraid of offending her to say what I really think?
This is where holding our tongues becomes a problem. We must ask ourselves two vital questions.
Am I withholding my words because I’m trying to conform?
Does withholding my words actually prohibit me from giving the gift of rich, biblical wisdom?
Sometimes as a Christian, I think it’s easier to offend God than to offend other people. God will forgive me. Other people hold grudges. Or look at your funny. Or stomp off in a rage.
If we consider ourselves Christians, then it is essential that we continually spread salt and light. We do that by offering another perspective. An eternal perspective.
What I wanted to say to the condom buying mom is this. “I’ve been there. I’ve been the college girl desperately wading through the swampy mess of what feels good now versus what I want for my future. I sure wish I would have had one wise woman talk to me back then about God’s Best for my life. It may not have changed my behavior. But it may have. I had no idea that God even cared about my sex life and that I was standing in the way of His great plan for my life.”
This is not about telling people they are wrong or “selling” them on Christianity. I simply have a different perspective because of the life I’ve lived and the ways I’ve seen God work through my troubles. So do you.
Let’s pause in our conversations long enough to let the Holy Spirit intervene in our words– but not so long that we let a beautiful gift slip through our fingers.