Often, the loudest thing you can say is silence; the best communication is no communication at all.
No, not out of spite; not the “silent treatment.” But keeping tight lips when opening them will only spark a fight.
Why be drained? Why be tense? There’s that old saying: no one regrets what one hasn’t said.
Like most “truisms,” that’s not entirely true: There are times we have to point things out, counter a wrong, cite things — especially danger. There are instances when we may regret what wasn’t said. It is the Holy Spirit who discrepates that for us.
When do we regret what we say? How often do you step back before saying or texting something?
When what we say is retaliation. When it comes from pride. When it comes from pique, anger, jealousy, from dislike; when it’s part of a feud or endless debate. (These days, it’s good to stay away from politics; we can’t even discuss vaccines.)
How many people have you ever convinced by debating or arguing with them? Maybe it happens. On occasion. But it’s not par for the course. Pride causes us to be entrenched. Pride leads to unproductive discourse (or texts). Pride is the energy of friction and division. Few can accept when they’re wrong!
It takes humility to let argumentation fall into the vacuum of silence. In fact, humility solves many problems. It is key in relationships, whether temporal or spiritual. You can’t effectively battle the enemy if you are proud, because if you have pride, the enemy has the “legal right” to a piece of your territory.
“The world, the flesh, and the devil can harm us only when they find within us an enemy with whom they can form an alliance,” says Father Benedict Bauer in a good new book, Frequent Confession: Its Place in the Spiritual Life. “Self-love is the enemy of God. The self-loving man is concerned only about himself; he loves himself and not God.”
“Our frequent Confession will help us greatly, week by week, to deepen our knowledge of ourselves. By means of it, we shall learn how base and hateful and impure and insincere we are, how much in bondage and enslaved to self-seeking. Slowly the scales will fall from our eyes.”
Spiritual blindness is a great affliction of this century.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t maintain your view when it is righteous. No. Stand your ground, especially when it comes to faith.
But one-upmanship is counterproductive. We should never argue; we must never hate (a person); we should never talk from the energy of ego; we should not strive to make ourselves large.
Remember that a dwarf in the mind of men is often mighty in the Mind of God.
[resources: Frequent Confession]