This is a series of posts with lessons I learned from my mom about being an overcomer. She surely has lived a life as an overcomer and I know that you will be encouraged by these lessons. If you have not yet read the first post and introduction, go here.
James 1:19 (NIV)
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
My mom, who despite having started her life with much opposition, has had a reputation of never speaking ill of anyone. People trust her to share their deep hurts because they know she is the kind of woman who will also open up her heart to them.
To be an overcomer means you need to be sure your mouth does not get ahead of reason or grace. I have made this mistake, and in talking to my mom over the years I see that she has mastered it.
Lesson #2 – Shut up, don’t say something you’ll regret: My mom would not say “shut up” in public, but you get the point. How often is it easy to react and then out of our hurt say things we can never take back. Hurtful words are like a broken glass. Once it shatters, we forever lose something that was once useful and the result is sharp, hurtful pieces.
Find a friend to vent to, not gossip to. We all need to be edited, and the community of very safe, healthy, and confidential friends can allow us that privilege. Beware, however, of unsafe people. When in doubt, shut your mouth.
My mother was always gracious, and actually is a chatty person. Being chatty is a good thing. It is just when you are mistreated that you have to be careful who you share your unfiltered, unedited, and raw thoughts and emotions with. One thing I noticed in watching her life is that she seemed to always have a close friend or two she could trust.
Waiting to speak will reveal a point of grace. If we rush to speak, we do not allow God to work both in our hearts and in the hearts of the offending party. Do you have to say something? One rule of thumb is this: if your conscience is not being torn by keeping quiet, than keep quiet.
Letting the Holy Spirit convict and getting out of the way is what we simply need to do. It does not guarantee that the offending party will even budge or come half way. But, it might mean if we open our mouth we could risk causing a bigger train wreck. My mom shared stories of how when hurt, she later had people come back to apologize. God can do that!
How does shutting your mouth make sense when you are mistreated? Does being an overcomer mean I have to keep quiet?