Not long ago, someone made a comment about one of my children, one that appeared innocuous on the outside but more pointed on the inside. It was meant to be more funny than accurate, but it didn’t leave me laughing. I mean, I can know an honest to goodness issue in my child needs to be worked on, but if you want to joke about it, well. My sense of humor will not show up to the party. The comment ruffled my feathers so badly I had not a one left lying down. It’s one thing to feel an urge to defend myself. But that urge kicks in tenfold when it comes to defending my offspring.
After the comment was made, I opened my mouth to reply. And then I heard a decisive whisper that said I got this, Kristen.
I closed my mouth and moved on. (I mean, obviously I moved on. That’s why I’m rehashing it all here, right? *Sigh*)
I tell you, when it comes to defensiveness, I have a weak spot a country mile wide. The Lord clearly wants me to deal with this because lately, I’ve found this message tacked onto the front door of my heart more than once:
Trust me with your reputation, and trust me with your children’s as well.
I know there are times when we need to speak up and defend others from an injustice. Absolutely. But since I know criticism tries to talk me into talking back more often than not, I need to first pray on what is the best thing to do with it. And as I proceed ahead, sometimes the best thing to do is say nothing as I leave the criticism in the capable hands of Jesus.
Some of you may be more apt to staying silent when you or someone you love is criticized. I get that, too. I know the feeling of wanting to speak up but finding myself too shocked or too scared to do so.
Whether we want to talk to0 much or too little, the right thing to do isn’t always to defend or stay silent.
Sometimes it’s both.
Because when we are prayerful, we silently trust God to speak the words someone needs to hear or to give us his words to use rather than our own.
Because when we are prayerful, we defend ourselves and our loved ones by trusting God to manage our reputations rather than trying to do it ourselves.
So yes, there is another option to being defensive or being silent.
It is choosing to be prayerful before proceeding.
And, well, choosing not to take ourselves quite so seriously.
Much love to you, friends. xo