In Grade 12 I remember reading a book for my English class. I have no idea what it was called. I can't even remember what it was about. All I remember was that it was mandatory and everyone was required to write what their opinion was of that particular book, and why you held that opinion.
Strange as it seems, (seeing that the teacher asked for our opinion) I was sure that this "A" student (in English at least) was going to definitely get a failing grade if I expressed my true thoughts on this book. My thoughts? Basically that it was stupid and I gave details to support my thinking, one of which was that I thought it unnecessary to go into detail of someone going to the washroom. Yup that's it. That's ALL I can remember of that book. Nothing else. But I was going to let this teacher know what I thought in hopes that they would see my point of view and never make another kid read such a dumb book!!
Looking back I don't think that teacher had some great epiphany from reading my expert opinion but I had this need to express it. Which was probably why I got 100% in a debate for social studies in high school as well as many good grades in the 10th grade where were required to write short essays on various topics. In case you're wondering I did get an 80% on my book review.
I've grown up that way. Opinionated, always right, and not only thinking this but feeling the need to express it and better yet, make everyone else around me see my point of view and agree with it!
These past 4 months especially, I've been growing. I've bit my tongue. Many times. Because in the end it didn't matter. In the end it wouldn't have made someone change their mind or have some great clarity. It's about turning the focus off of me and my thoughts and considering the thoughts of others. I have a long way to go, and am far from perfect! Just ask my husband :) But I know what it's like to want to have someone just listen. To not pipe in their expert opinion and to just listen. That's been more helpful to me in this journey than the ones who have all the answers. It doesn't just apply here, for this particular experience. A softened heart is where it starts. Our attitudes reflect our actions. Our actions don't change who we are. It sounds cliché but it's our hearts and attitudes that truly change our character. In the end having people genuinely care about you and having a gentle spirit is most helpful to people.
I've always had a soft heart towards hurting people but it was always overshadowed by my opinion of whether or not I saw it as legit. Should they just get over it? Are they their own worst enemies? Could they be doing something to help themselves? In the end, my opinion doesn't matter, what they are going through and how I can be help does. Because I have Christ in me, I wanna let my light shine.