To Say or Not to Say

I am a “say-er” of things. By that, I mean that I almost always say something if I think it needs to be said. If I have a poor customer service experience, someone is probably going to hear about it. If someone hurts my feelings, I’m probably going to tell them. If I am treated unjustly, I’m probably going to fight it.

I have tried to curb this as I’ve gotten older and realized that 1) some battles can’t be won, 2) some people don’t care, and 3) sometimes I just need to let things go (this is VERY difficult for me).

I have gone through phases of being better and worse at it, that’s for sure. I do attempt to think before I speak more than I used to. I have a big problem accepting it when people don’t do what they say they will, especially, when they have presented themselves as Christians, or, at least, as people of integrity.

I had one such experience the other day. I don’t want to give out the details. It was one of those that put me in a bad mood due to someone’s disregard and negligence and subsequent lack of remorse or apology, though it was something that had been agreed upon long before, and resulted in me being out some money.

I held my tongue. It was hard for me to hold my tongue. I took Thumper’s advice: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.”

The next day I found out something about that person’s circumstances that made me really glad I had not responded in anger. Regardless of the fact that the actions were wrong, if I had spoken my mind in that instant, I would have regretted it the next day.

So, I’ve been trying to think back to other scenarios when I felt that I should keep my peace. Any time I’ve felt strongly that I should not go to bat for myself, and I’ve actually obeyed that little voice – in the end, I have been happy that I kept silent.

I should state that there are times when I feel no compunction at all about standing up for whatever situation or whatever wrong has been done. There are many times I’ve been happy that I spoke out.

But I think there are a too many instances when I have NOT listened to those little whisperings from the Holy Spirit and continued on with my rampage despite feeling like I shouldn’t. Those are the times I regret.

Some people don’t have the same issues I do. Some people have trouble standing up for themselves at all.

It’s a line that only the Holy Spirit can draw for us, whether it’s one of those times that something needs to be said, or one of those times we need to let it go. Hopefully, I’ll remember this next time I hear that little voice!

Did Jesus feel like Jesus?

I know that’s an odd question, but you’ll know what I mean by the end of this post. I know since I’ve started writing again, my posts have focused on work-related things, but that’s what my brain is thinking about most of the time. That’s what owning your own business will do to you, no matter what kind of business it is. And so, this is yet another post about such things.

I mentioned that I’d started doing a lot of things for the business this year that I had previously not done. Well, one of those things was to recognize employee birthdays and get them a gift. It’s nothing exciting, but just a little something and a card.

My plan had been to give them their presents at the monthly meetings we’ve been having. Well, the first time I had a birthday to celebrate at this occasion there were actually two birthdays, and one of the ladies to celebrate was not able to make the meeting. I’m ashamed to admit that I actually considered not giving her the gift since she’d not been to the meeting. This is silly on many levels, and I didn’t really have a reason other than that I also liked the gift and would’ve been happy to have it for my own. I actually un-wrapped it, and put it where I would’ve wanted to put it if it were mine. But there were a couple of weeks between the celebration and her actual birthday, and about mid-way through that time, I picked it up from where I’d placed it, and re-wrapped it.

I didn’t really even think about it. I didn’t have a big revelation about being magnanimous or any conscious thought that I “should” give it to her after all. I just did it.

We have a pre-appointed drop off spot for items she may need for a job (keys, etc), and I put her present at the drop off point the day before her birthday.

This day happened to coincide with an incident of her not quite meeting one of my expectations. I try not to be a hard task-master, so I hadn’t “scolded” or anything, but she knew because one of our incentives is a higher pay if you meet excellence standards, which she did not get that week. She had asked me what the issue was, and I told her. As I said, I try not to be harsh about these things, but nobody likes to hear what they’ve done wrong, and apparently this bothered her more than I knew.

This discussion took place earlier in the day, and she did not go to the drop off spot until later. After she went to her box, I received this text from her: “You are incredible. Here I am feeling terrible about failing you and you fill the box with gifts. You remind me of Jesus. Thank you so much!”

(On an aside, she only says “fill the box with gifts” because I’d also had aprons printed for us and included one of those in there as well. This, in my opinion, harldly counts as a gift, but that is why she makes it sound like multiples.)

This text meant as much to me as, probably, the gifts meant to her, if not more! And I didn’t feel very much like Jesus. I mean, I almost didn’t give her the gift at all.

But I started thinking, I know that I don’t feel like Jesus. But did Jesus feel like Jesus? I imagine him always doing the right thing and always being happy about it, but didn’t he weep at the Garden of Gethsemane, but then obey the Father anyway?

I think, too many times, we are waiting for a feeling of being happy about doing something when what is really required of us is to do what the Father asks whether we feel like it or not.