Jesus said, words to the effect, “Let your ‘Yes’ be simply ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’.” (See the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5–7.) The reason is obvious from our safely distant standpoint, but it’s not as obvious as the words fly, often harmfully, directly out of our mouths.
It is our supposed default, however, to say things we either don’t think well enough about beforehand, or to make sweeping generalisations.
Always Covering for Possibility
Having a mindset that’s open to the availability of potential or possibility is a sensible wisdom. It’s a trained open mind. In keeping with this training, we sense—at a heart level, which are our motives of intent—for the mistakes of speech and act that are almost certainly going to trip us up.
We hardly ever cater for all the possibilities—mainly because we’re so wired to our expectations. But if we can train ourselves to consider a broader landscape of impending reality we afford ourselves a willed thankfulness to God for his gift of wisdom that we just practiced.
Better Late Than Never – So Far as Learning’s Concerned
Deeper still, we have the discipline of age and wisdom, and the discernment of perhaps having been bitten one time too many. We’ve been motivated to be more prudent.
This is where the wisdom of Jesus’ makes sense. It always made sense and it always will. And we’ve learned the sense that tends to life itself simply because we’ve practiced life.
Oh what a blessing it is to have lived and to have learned. It’s got to be the nexus of human endeavour—deep in the practice of life itself.
Deeper still than speaking and acting is the way we think. Our thoughts, which are only a shade higher than the deeper intent of the heart, are responsible for our entire lives just about.
The more we think less in generalisation and oath-worthy ways the less threat there will be that we’ll speak or act foolishly. For some it comes more naturally than it does for others. Perhaps the introvert is more naturally cautious about what they do and say.
Notwithstanding, it is an opportunity ever before us, to go to the higher mind, to weigh and consider our thoughts and responses; to think in disciplined and heart-guarded ways.
Perhaps the biggest sign that we’re making the right sort of adjustments is when we’re actually manually ‘checking’ our words and actions in the actual act of making them.
This, of itself, is a tenuous—though not impossible—discipline to acquire.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.