I did it again. I opened my big mouth and voiced a strong opinion about something that was none of my business to a person who shouldn’t have had to listen to it.
I do this regularly, and then it wakes me up in the night and I have to call and apologize for letting my mouth run away with me. Good grief. Shouldn’t I have learned a little restraint by now?
I can see my motives. I can see that I care about the person I was talking with, not wanting her to be hurt or used or taken advantage of. To bring a different perspective of the situation to her attention is one thing. That’s what friends do. To mouth off my strongly-held opinions quite insistently about what she should do about it is another thing. That’s rude.
And besides, that presupposes that I know what is best for her. It is saying that I know what God’s will is for her life, in a manner of speaking, when in fact, I have no idea. I only occasionally know what’s best for me.
The older I get, the more intricate are the little threads that tie us together in friendships. The older I get, the less black and white I see, and life’s issues are many more shades of gray. The older I get, the more delicate are the nuances of motivation, of honesty–of truth.
I called my friend this morning to apologize for my lack of control, and she didn’t even know what I was talking about at first. My personalized rant went in one ear and out the other, which is the way friends ought to be with one another. Sometimes unwanted advice is good, sometimes it’s not. Take what you need and leave the rest on the table with the empty coffee cups.
But it was not in keeping with my spiritual principles, so I had to clean it up. I have to do that a lot. The only thing I can say in my defense is that I’m working on it.
Am I hard on myself? Yeah, probably, but it’s the only way I know how to be if I’m to make any progress at all.
Remember that commercial? “Life is messy. Clean it up.”
Words to live by.