How are you supposed to ‘Keep it real’ without being a fool? How should you share with wisdom? What is the one thing more important than transparency? Scott and Dina answer these questions in this episode.
In this episode Scott and Dina discuss the difference between being “real” foolishly and being real wisely. There are many references in scripture, but none more to the point than Proverbs 29:11:
A fool vents all his feelings, But a wise man holds them back.
Feelings are matters of the heart. The Bible teaches us in Jeremiah 17:9:
The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?
A classic example of the inappropriate venting of feelings is when we are angry at someone and react by sharing our pain or disappointment with them or someone else while still caught up in our emotions. This is almost never profitable, and almost always leads to resentment and misunderstanding. In the heat of the moment it is better to hold one’s tongue, take a deep breath, and let our “feelings” subside. Then, if it remains an issue for us, we should seek wise counsel from someone who is emotionally and spiritually more mature than we are.
The big lie is that we are not being real if we don’t express what’s in our heart. But what we have to say in the heat of the moment can be damaging and almost never has the desired effect. After we have cooled down, we usually regret our actions and find that understanding and healing are required to restore relationships. The bottom line is that there are times when it is appropriate to express our emotions and times when it is not. The criteria for our decision should center on whether or not something “good” will come of it.
Related, but not associated with anger or passion, is the difference between speaking one’s mind and discernment. Women, because they are typically more attuned to feelings, are better at this than men. A good rule of thumb is if it is not edifying or might cause the listener discomfort, it is best left unsaid. Once again, the wise man controls his tongue.
In a somewhat different context, and often misunderstood, is the distinction between transparency and vulnerability. Transparency is positive, it lets people know who we are, and it’s not that difficult. We can share some pretty intimate stuff without putting ourselves at risk. Being vulnerable on the other hand implies risk, in that what you are sharing can be used to hurt you. Transparency is good, but not hard to do. Vulnerability is essential, but very uncomfortable. It is, however, vitally important to our well-being and continued growth that we share our innermost secrets with trusted people in our lives.
To keep it real in a wise and loving way don’t miss an episode of NOTW Christian Podcast.