Has this ever happened to you?

On your way to church, you glance over at your teenager and notice he pulled his shirt from the dirty-clothes hamper instead of his closet. You have a choice: to criticize his appearance or remain silent.

A friend purchases yet another new outfit, which pushes your “envy button”. When someone comments on how nice she looks, you have a choice: make a remark about money spent on clothing or agree with a silent nod.

The carpool driver forgets to pick up your child and leaves her stranded alone at school and does not call to apologize. Do you tell others about the oversight-or not?

These incidents happened to me within the last twenty-four hours, and the Spirit seems to nudge me the loudest when He wants me to remain silent. My choice is to resist His nudge and say what I want, which is my way, or choose to remain silent, which is His way. Three personal proverbs help me pause before speaking:

Don’t criticize something that can’t be changed.

What I say about others says more about me than it does about them.

Never say anything about another person I wouldn’t say if that person was standing beside me.

These guidelines don’t guarantee that I’ll always make the right choice, but thinking about them slows down my responses and gives me a chance to cooperate with God.

~Carol Kuykendall