Incredible Hulk Pancake: Don't make
him angry. You wouldn't like him when
he's angry!
I cannot, nor I will not, hold me still. My tongue, though not my heart, shall have his will. -- Shakespeare

I am a very sarcastic person. Try as I might to be sweet and soft-spoken, the sarcasm fairly oozes from my being. A large portion of my family is this way, which is where I learned a lot of it. I have a caustic sense of humor.

Over the years, I have gotten better at holding my tongue - in certain situations. I do my best not to level smart-assed barbs at my children, for example. And I don't tell strangers when I think they are doing something stupid. But there are definite weaknesses in my Sarcasm Retaining Wall.

There are some people, in particular, who are able to get under my skin with very little effort. Unfortunately, I rarely hold my tongue in response. (Or rather, it must seem that way. Truly, you can't imagine the number of things that go through my head, but don't make it past my lips.) I have become a master of saying unloving things and labeling it as Brutally Honest, but No Offense.

At least one person has noticed, and today she was loving enough to bring it to my attention. I rapidly went through my typical responses: DEFENSIVE, ANGRY, SELF-RIGHTEOUS. What surprised me is that, just as rapidly, I settled into an unexpected response. It went something like this: "That's true. I recognize it. I own it. I need to change it."

Is that a new defense? Pretending not to be upset, so that the other person doesn't think I care what they have to say? Or is it a sign of growth? Humility? I guess the real test will come with time. Am I repentant; ready to change my path? Or do I go on with life as always, brushing off the advice that was given?

I've already mentioned that I try to be kind and hold my tongue, but I think I see the real problem here. Instead of trying to hold back the burning words, I should be praying that God would remove them altogether. If the corrosion is removed from my heart, then it cannot come out of my mouth.

Old prayer: "Lord, please help me to be loving toward _____. Help me speak to them kindly."

New prayer: "Lord, please change my heart. Fill it with words that build up, rather than words that destroy."

1 comment:

LA Trouveique Rj said...

I just wrote a long wonderful comment. But I lost it. Humility begins when we realize our defenses are useless for anything good and that our admission of wrong leads to a door where we can receive grace and pardon. Asking God to examine our hearts and lead us to the everlasting is always good. I used to beat ppl with the truth thinking I was doing them good bc I was hyper aware of any dishonesty due to my fundy-hypocrite upbringing. I was a little thing I like to call wrong lol