I grew up in a home where I had no idea who my parents voted for. They allowed us to form our own views and kept theirs private. This frustrated me at times because honestly its easier to be told what to think than to actually THINK but now I understand their preference in discretion. They allowed me to think for myself and taught me the value in keeping personal things personal. And that continued with this election.
Proverbs 10:19 when there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise.
This election has brought out the worst in everyone. From candidates to reporters to voters- the things we’ve witnessed, said and done in support of or against someone…is honestly disgraceful. As a former politics junkie, it was really hard for me to stay silent in a lot of Facebook debates and twitter discussions. Seeing this friend support that candidate or that friend support this candidate stirred up so many questions in my mind. So many opportunities to judge the people I love most because of their hashtag under their photo. So many times I asked “how could they support the person behind THAT statement??” All. Across. The board. But I stayed silent. And for me, regardless of what happened last night, staying silent was the most valuable lesson I learned. And the wisest thing I could do.
Proverbs 11:22 Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion.
Silence in my opinion is a form of modesty. And while we are so fortunate, me especially as a double minority (black and woman), to have the right to speak up and be heard- there is wisdom in knowing WHEN to speak and how to say it.
Proverbs 17:27-18 He who restrains his words has knowledge, And he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; When he closes his lips, he is considered prudent.
Our opinions are just that- opinions. And we can get into trouble when we start to swing them around like facts. Just because we have our phones at our finger tips doesn’t mean we have to type out our unfiltered thoughts to the world at any given moment. I’m in no way saying we should just stay silent and not have helpful open-minded conversations. But I am saying that it’s okay NOT to have those conversations. You are allowed to decline to comment. You are more than welcome to not share your opinion. You absolutely do not have to tell people who you voted for and why. Or follow that Facebook page or post a hundred statuses about who sucks and who or who doesn’t suck and why. You can totally just live a life that reflects your views so you don’t even have to speak about them. Modesty to me isn’t just covering up or using nice language-It is recognizing that it is okay to keep some things private. It’s the discernment to know when to keep quiet. Waiting for the right time and place to speak.
Proverbs 21:23 He who guards his mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from troubles.
Who I did or didn’t vote for really doesn’t matter. My job is not to tell you which candidate I think is best. Who should’ve won or who shouldn’t have. Which one is for us and which one is against us. My job is to point you to JESUS. And for me, one of the best ways to do that is to not engage in conversations so quickly take the focus off of Jesus. It is my job to use discretion when speaking and tame my tongue to avoid strife and unnecessary problems among believers and unbelievers alike. It is my job to be a representative of Christ and I have found it is really hard to do that and do that well when engaging in conversations about this election in particular. So that is why I haven’t commented. Because some things are better left unsaid.
Proverbs 11:9 With his mouth the Godless man Destroys his Neighbor but through knowledge the righteous will be delivered.
Don’t be afraid to stay silent. The right to free speech doesn’t mean you have to speak.
Proverbs 13:3 the one who guards his mouth preserves his life; The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.