When I was a new mom, a older mother of three children told me, pick your battles. It was good advice, and not just for parents. It works for current events.
Through this pandemic, the constant civil unrest, explosions, illnesses, the elections, the wildfires, the hurricane season, social media, and leaders who aren’t leading, battles abound. However, I can still pick my battles – and keeping my mouth shut today makes better and better sense:
I am not young enough to know everything. Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
It’s not like I know in advance, when I will wind up in a battle, or argument; but hindsight helps me see some of the warning signs . . . and they were all framed in my PRIDE.
Pride is the shirt of the soul, put on first and put off last. ~ George Swinnock
If a disagreement, conflict, or even argument erupts, please show me, Lord, what I have wrapped my pride around today:
- What conviction, personal preference, or prejudgment do I consider so sacrosanct that I will not evaluate it through the lens of Your Spirit and word? (Psalm 19)
- Which sin am I still hoping You will overlook? (Psalm 66:18)
- Whose contrary opinion do I need to just get over? (Matthew 18:15)
- To whom do I owe an amends? (Matthew 5:23-24)
- Where is my faith in You faltering? (Matthew 28:6)
Remember this recent advice: I don’t have to attend every argument I am invited to.
Maybe I can use my time more wisely, and be better dressed. (2 Corinthians 5)
This was a good use of time — the counsel from an article on the Gospel Coalition that suggested how to handle hot topics: Leading with an Anti-Tribal Posture in Angry Times. When discussing hot button topics we need “[a] disposition committed to being as winsome as it is courageous.”
How do I “. . . cling to my convictions with a spirit of unyielding gentleness,” in times when battle grounds are shifting?
Today’s not a bad time to start figuring it out.
“Surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of man he is.” ― C.S. Lewis
In the meantime, what I can change is me.
Better Advice I Wish I Had Heard Earlier:
“How far you go in life depends on you being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these. “-George Washington Carver