As I’ve progressed along this journey called life, I’ve come to realize there are times when I have to bite my tongue and not say what I’m thinking. Funny thing is, this is something I have to do in every area of my life; family, work, church and socially. It seems there is always someone doing or saying something for which I have an opinion. What I’ve found however is very few people actually want to know what I think.
It seems whenever there is a new idea or some change needs to take place, even if the person making the changes asks, they don’t really want to know what my opinion is, they really are just telling me to get on board with the plan. I made a statement on social media a few weeks back about how I don’t honor a man just because he holds an office, but I honor the man when he has earned the right for me to do so. Honor is never given, it is earned; more men need to learn this.
At almost fifty-three I can finally say I have learned how to keep my mouth shut; well most of the time. It’s hard to do too. When I sit back and watch younger men and women making mistakes in their marriages it is very hard for me not to say something. I just celebrated twenty-eight years of wedded bliss with my bride last weekend and not to brag, but I have learned a thing or two in all those years. Not to say I’ve got it all figured out; each year we’re married brings new challenges with it. But as I watch young men make mistake after mistake with their brides, it is very hard for me not to say anything.
At work and at church I find myself more and more needing to bite my tongue as well. It’s not as if I’m opposed to things I see there, but having been in business for many years, I have knowledge about some things others don’t and when I see some of the rules or laws of marketing and customer service being stepped on or over I feel an overwhelming need to say something, even though no one wants to hear what I have to say.
I find myself in a very interesting time of life; no longer the young gun building a kingdom nor am I a doddering old fool at the end of his life. I’m in the purgatory of manhood; still qualified but looking for where I fit in. This is the time in men’s lives where they purchase fast cars, hair plugs and new outfits; all in an effort to show the world they are still virile and worth something. Not me, I’m content with my old pickup, love of things artsy, my bride and family. I know where my worth comes from and I rest in this fact, waiting to help others and biting my tongue a lot.
In his book Fathered by God; John Eldredge talks about the various stages men go through in the course of their lives. Today I find myself in the Sage portion of life. A sage is a man who shares the knowledge of the things he’s learned in life with men younger who haven’t made it as far down the path of manhood. Being thought of as a sage is cool, but there are still times I wish I was the warrior or king. Oh there are still elements of these areas in my life, but tend to be fewer and fewer the older I get.
If there is one thing I’ve learned in these years on planet Earth, it is to hold my tongue and give advice or counsel only when it’s asked for. The Bible says in the book of Proverbs;
“Even a fool when he holds his tongue is considered wise.”
If you can learn this one thing, you will be considered wise in the eyes of the majority of those around you and that is not a bad thing at all. I won’t say it’s easy, because it’s not, but it is achievable if you’re willing to work at it.
Now you know what I think, why don’t you tell me what you think?