Sometimes Sharing Robs You of Your Lesson

There are times when you need to speak up. You feel a strong prompting to address a specific issue and you feel confident it’s necessary. But there are also times when you need to remain silent. The secret is to discern which moment you’re in.

I am not here to tell you which is which. It’s so subjective that we each have to learn through experience. And we do need to learn.

For years, I would receive a new inspired thought and rush to my blog or social media to share it with my friends. I often had specific people in mind for who would benefit from hearing this new insight. Did some people benefit from my real-time sharing? Possibly.

One thing I do know is that those concepts would evaporate from my own mind and I’d be left with the memory of having had a special moment, but having received no impact from it.

Do you remember the parable of the sower? The seed is scattered across four different types of soil. The hard path, the rocky soil, the thorny soil, and the fertile soil.

Each type of soil in the story is a picture of a different condition of the human heart. The seed was the inspiration, teaching, lesson intended to be planted, take root, and grow.

The message received in your heart and mind can either be robbed by fear, choked out by distractions, rooted in shallow understanding, or be buried deep to take root and eventually bear fruit. 

Though not listed in the parable, a fifth soil could be the soil in which the field owner excitedly snatches up the seed and gives it away to other people. The soil doesn’t get a chance to receive and harbor the seed. The owner never takes ownership of the seed. He transfers its value to others.

This is what I think of when I picture a person who’s quick to share their new ideas and inspired thoughts. In some way, they seek the reward of having been the conduit for the idea, despite never having put the idea into practice to yield a result.

Silence, on the other hand, provides the opportunity to take in the seed of the information and let it go down deep into safety. 

I consistently find that any idea I’ve had or lesson I’ve learned that I share too quickly disappears and yields no benefits in my life. It’s the ideas and thoughts that I meditate on, pray about, and research about that eventually benefit my life in a real way. 

When the angel appeared to young Mary to inform her that she would bear a son who would be the savior of the world, Mary didn’t run into town and tell everyone.

but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.

Luke 2:19

Mary meditated on and pondered the words of the messenger. She didn’t seek external validation. She didn’t brag about being special. She pondered these strange, impossible, and wonderful words.

Silence is a choice. 

Facebook, X, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat offer real-time opportunities to share our thoughts and opinions. It takes a concerted effort to observe a period of silence and restraint. 

We can choose moment by moment to refrain from casting our insights too casually and too quickly into the massive ocean of ideas always being shared online. 

It’s painful to not share ideas when you are desperate for recognition or respect. But true recognition and respect grow out of ideas converted into action and lived out, not in words that represent concepts that disappear once spoken. 

But You Can Be Silent Too Long

The opposite side of oversharing is developing an unhealthy prolonged silence. If we choose indefinite silence, we miss the opportunity to expand the benefit and value of our knowledge.

There are legitimate reasons to stay silent. Aim small, miss small, and all that. 

But too many years of too much silence and you reap a lifetime of no effect. If you hold a needed insight for too long, you rob the rest of the world of your contribution.  

It may be time for self-evaluation. Are you the person remaining silent for the purpose of nurturing and developing, or are you the person hiding and avoiding? Same action, but different outcome. 

I hope we each take the time to know the difference.

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