“Never feel the need to defend yourself. Sometimes silence is the best response.” Unknown
My friend Betty often reminded me, “What you defend, you make true.”
I claimed not to understand her advice because I didn’t want to understand it. It felt like a life or death sentence for me to be understood. If I felt accused, judged or blamed, I explained my side of the story … to death. I felt like I’d die otherwise.
My daughter and I were on the phone just recently when she said, “There’s a dead horse over here.”
Get it? Beat a dead horse.
We laughed together, but when I’m feeling alone and attacked, I actually get shaky if someone’s being unreasonable. I feel panicked and talk myself into a tizzy trying to explain. I defend myself until I prove them right because I sound so crazy.
I know where this all started and I understand it’s rooted in fear, but I react anyway.
I talk way too much when I wish I’d follow the advice in Proverbs 10:19 (Amplified), “When there are many words, transgression and offense are unavoidable, but he who controls his lips and keeps thoughtful silence is wise.”
Betty was right, the more I talk and defend myself, the more I prove how right the other person is about me being wrong. It seems unfair, but that’s how it gets turned around. That’s how I help turn it around. I won’t be quiet.
Last night while reading my Bible, the very story I read fit this blog post perfectly. In 2 Chronicles 32, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, threatened to attack Judah and their king, Hezekiah.
Verse after verse after verse, Sennacherib and his servants mocked God and Hezekiah. They spread rumors and told his people that he couldn’t be trusted and neither could God. Sennacherib told them not to be stupid by following along.
Do you know how Hezekiah responded? After that long verbal attack, Hezekiah only took up one verse. It said, “King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz cried out in prayer to heaven about this …”
The story reminds me of the social media memes that say, “Be like Bob” and Bob makes good decisions. Be like Hezekiah and pray instead of defending yourself.
I’d love to think that after putting this on paper, I’d take my own advice – stop defending myself. Be quiet. Pray.
By the way, God sent an angel, fought for Hezekiah, and won. We’re in this together … with God.
In This Together,