Slow To Speak

I’ve had trouble keeping mostly silent about the events taking place in the Middle East. A couple of days ago, I read only a snippet of an article about the attack in Israel by Hamas, and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to read. I’m haunted by it and probably won’t forget those images conjured in my mind from the text for the rest of my life. I hesitate to even share the article, but I would say either don’t read it or read with extreme discretion. This is unimaginable brutality. The images coming out of Gaza are immensely distressing as well. The amount of suffering is unfathomable.

Of course, I’ve got opinions, just like most other people (you know what they say opinions are like…).

What do my opinions matter, though, in the face of such violence?

I’m following the advice of Adsum Try Ravenhill, who writes about keeping silent in certain circumstances.1

It is my desire to, “put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word” even in the face of darkness and evil. As a result of that, I have made a promise to myself—and now to my readers—not to lash out in anger, even when I feel justified in doing so. This has meant sitting on some subjects that I feel strongly about and not speaking out on them, even when I see others doing so. I have written in the past about deeply troubling subjects that have affected me personally, like abuse, and physical suffering, but have only done so with the counsel of others to help guide me, and with much prayer and thought.

Silence can be deadly, but for those of us who sometimes struggle to be “slow to anger,” we ought to focus on being, “slow to speak.”

I am sometimes quick-tempered when I see something that violates my values. I believe this is a part of being an INFP. This site has a good explanation of how INFPs handle anger.

But when someone challenges your core values or accuses your actions of being false or flawed, it won’t be too long before you start getting cynical and sarcastic – when pushed enough, you may eventually blow up and engage in a conflict.

I do tend towards sarcasm first and then outright outbursts of anger. To say I’m not the only one who is angered by recent events is putting it mildly. I’m trying, though, not to add my rage to what is already out there, which is more than sufficient.

Canned Dragons by Robert Rackley
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