wonbyoneI took one of those online personality test quizzes, which often are a little silly but this one had me seriously thinking…

My score told me that:

41 TO 50 POINTS: Others see you as fresh, lively, charming, amusing,practical, and always interesting; someone who’s constantly in the center of attention, but sufficiently well-balanced not to let it go to their head. They also see you as kind, considerate, and understanding; someone who’ll always cheer them up and help them out.

Hmm, I wonder if this is really how people see me? Who knows? I do know that some friends, both online and In Real Life have told me that I can come across as opinionated. I’m trying to teach my girls about having an opinion but voicing it with discernment, grace and tact. Tehee, the hard part is discernment, grace and tact eh? It’s not so difficult to ‘teach’ one to have an opinion though, is it?

As a child, I often felt like my opinion didn’t matter…that I wasn’t smart enough to voice my opinion. This largely came from my experiences at school more so than home and family. As time went on and I started to mature, I found that there were areas that I could voice my opinion. Then, after awhile more, I found that there were actually some things that I started to know a little about…and had the freedom in which to voice my opinion! As is so often the case with me, I probably took it to the extreme – stating my opinion whenever given a chance. Thankfully, the Lord has pulled me up on this a number of times…sometimes it has been through a painful experience while other times a quiet, individual experience. But, I am learning that just because I have an opinion or a thought doesn’t mean that I have to verbalise it. I’m even learning that just because I might be asked for my opinion, doesn’t mean that I have to take the soapbox and proclaim it loudly. I need to use discernment in each situation.

Some things that I am learning…and am trying to teach my girls is:

Do I have any responsibility in this area/matter?
Do I have any authority in this area/matter?

Usually, the answer to those questions will dictate to me, whether or not I need to speak and if so, how much and in what manner I need to say them.

As an example: Years ago, as a recent convert to homeschooling I thought it was wonderful and that everyone (or as many as possible) should homeschool. I used to be fairly verbose with my thoughts too. Over time, and situations, I came to see that this is one way but the Lord, in His wisdom, has not decreed that it is a command necessary for salvation. So, do I need to preach it?

Years ago, I used mostly Charlotte Mason’s methods to educate my children, and I thought it was all the bee’s knee’s. However, I realised that it is only one way…amidst many ways… and that the CM method isn’t purely right or wrong or the only way nor necessarily the best way for everyone, so did I need to preach it?

There are so many issues or ‘hot topics’ that I have an opinion on and that are important to me…but is it essential for me to voice them? Do I have responsibility or authority to speak of it? Sometimes yes and sometimes no! I’m trying to ask myself these questions before I speak.

What is it that I want to speak about the most? A method of homeschooling? A style of cooking? A brand of clothing? Something particular that may have worked for me? I want to share what I’ve found to be the best – in life, in homeschooling, in everything! And that, is the all gracious, all powerful, all knowing God…the God of the Bible. This is the only gospel that I want to ‘preach’ for that is what is essential for salvation…for that it truly worthwhile. We don’t know how long we have on this earth, to do that which He has called us to do- may we make the most of our time and our resources. May we seek His grace, for our lives… that our speech would be seasoned with grace when we speak to our husband, our children, family and those that we come into contact with.