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Keep it to Yourself

Once upon a time, I heard that if I didn't have anything nice to say, then I shouldn't say anything at all. It seemed logical enough. I certainly appreciated, I thought, living in a realm of silence rather than negativity. What I couldn't see, however, was the seeping, wispy black cloud sneaking steadily through a crack in the door. I bought into the idea and it allowed a slow yet constant stream of grossness to flow into my space.

With silent darkness as their incubator, the lies began to take shape and grow. Though their development was subtle, there were several points along the way when I was startled by the inundation. Spores gave way to ground cover, which gave way to small foliage, which eventually became a forest so thick that I could barely distinguish what was right in front of me.

The problem, you see, was not that I wasn't saying anything nice. Rather, it was that I had become confused as to what nice was. That word had gotten thrown into a tumultuous spin cycle with passive aggression and had come out looking very different. By remaining silent I had alienated edifying speech and had settled for bitter solitude instead of blurting out my own shortcomings.

Thankfully, it was Grace that was right in front of me. It had teased and tantalized me with its winsome aroma; asking me simply to trust. As I painfully stretched out an atrophied hand, I was met with a warm and sweet embrace that invited me gently to speak up. My unused voice quavered with uncertainty, but was met with such sweetness. I grew stronger, little by little, as I recounted the goodness and richness of the Grace. Admittedly, the more I said, the more I wanted to say. It bubbled forth with increasing exuberance, and truth pushed back the inky darkness of the lies.

The cares of mundane survival continue to be eclipsed by the magnificence and magnitude of my Savior's grace. As I strain to use dormant muscles to trust Him in me, I find pieces of joy that are nearly indescribable. Rejection, approval, favor, discontentment...these are words that flail like drying socks in a stiff breeze. Cold and lifeless I see them now and am grateful to be speaking up, even when it's messy.


  1. Wow! That is very powerful, Aaron. I have had to re-read it several times to let it sink in and think about it.


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