The Grace to Shut Up


I have camped out on this very word for the year 2012. It is my theme and the anthem of my heart. When I feel frustrated. Grace. When worried. Grace. When annoyed or angry.


It is good that I landed on this word as we head into a contentious political season. Already I have had the opportunity to dwell in Grace. Spending ample amounts of time online can lead to high blood pressure for those of us who tend to veer toward hot headedness.  My first inclination is generally not to remain quiet, but instead to add my voice to the fray.

But I am learning to dwell in Grace.

Do you know how many Facebook statuses I’ve written and erased this week?

It’s interesting, when you’re learning to embrace Grace, how much more difficult it feels to give it. I find myself so quick to judge. When I see posts that upset me, the nasty little voice in my head scoffs all hoity toity-like, “Don’t they understand Grace?”

And then that smaller voice counters, “Do you understand it?

It’s at this point that I make my fingers be still so my heart can get quiet. It’s amazing how quiet and stillness can actually snuff out the nasty, isn’t it?

Just because I’m learning Grace doesn’t mean everyone is learning it. Just because I’m trying to practice Grace by being quiet doesn’t mean everyone should be quiet. Indeed, I’ve seen numerous posts and comments that oozed Grace in a way that I’m not always skilled at conveying.

I needed the Grace to shut up so that I could learn Grace by watching others.

It’s hard not to get bothered by ramblings online. There are so many voices in this world wide web. So many opinions to be shared, observations to be made, accusations to be flung and promises to be spoken. And weaving through it all, if you aren’t careful, it’s easy to become lost in the negativity.

“But you’re just being real,” the nasty little voice yells. “You have to let people know who you are and where you stand or you won’t ever be heard.”

Hmmm…I don’t agree little voice. Be gone!

There is something to be said about being Graceful, even above being kind. I’m trying to lean toward Grace instead of kindness. Because even kindness can lend itself to an air of condemnation. If someone doesn’t feel the same way I do about an issue, I can kindly assert our differences, but there’s no guarantee that that person won’t feel hurt or judged by my words.

It’s a balance, this thing called Grace. The balance comes in knowing when to speak up and when to be still. When to speak wisdom and when to simply sit. Thankfully I have seen a LOT of people do this well in the online world and I am trying to learn for them. To learn, though, I need to be quiet for awhile.

Grace doesn’t always shine through me and in the past, I’ve been part of the noise problem. I’ve spoken with brash confidence and haughty self-love. I’ve assumed that my opinions were so worthy and noble that naturally everyone would want to hear them and should indeed agree with all I said.

That’s not to say I don’t think people should have a voice. I do. And I think you should exercise your right to voice your opinion. In fact, in the last month as I’ve learned to just be still and quiet a marvelous thing has happened. I’ve learned to appreciate, if not agree with, differing opinions.


Suddenly, my own opinion isn’t the only one that matters. And I’ve been able to more clearly think through what I feel, think and believe about an issue.

This is nothing short of miraculous, folks!

So I’m learning. I will likely fail here and there and I can’t promise I’ll always keep my mouth shut my fingers still, but if I can continue to sit quietly long enough to calm my heart, I just may learn what it means to dwell in, and live with, Grace.

And maybe, just maybe, I’ll someday be able to speak Grace.


  1. Ahhh! Kelli, thank you for putting a name to what I have been struggling with so much this year. Seems every time I open my dang mouth there is some consequence! I need ‘grace’!

    • It’s so hard, isn’t it?! Especially when everything is so contentious and we all feel so strongly. It’s hard to know when to speak and when to…not speak.

      I love your heart, Melody. 🙂

  2. You just said so many wise things right there. 🙂

    • Well thank you for that encouragement. On occasion, if I’m not being a hot head, I hope that perhaps a little bit of wisdom seeps through. 😉

  3. a verse I have committed to memory and try to remind myself of ALL the time….Ps 19:14

    “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Oh Lord my Rock and My Redeemer” (The meditation of the heart part is SO important because it affects what come our of my mouth!)

    If my words are pleasing to God, then they are grace to the listener!

  4. Here’s another verse that comes to mind from Ecclesiastes 3: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…a time to be silent and a time to speak…”
    God, give us the wisdom to know the time, to be brave, and always filled with Your Grace.

  5. I’ve been like you. Write, delete. I’ve learned that a lot of times, my voice adds fuel, not wisdom. no matter what I think, not everyone has to know.

  6. Mel cable says
  7. What we all learn, when we try to live grace, is that grace is messier than rules. We can make a list of rules, allowing us to judge others, even though we don’t live up to all our own rules on our own list. But, living by grace means embracing the outcast that has broken all the rules, dressing the nasty wounds of those hurt by their own foolish decisions, and loving those that not only don’t love us but, many times, are our enemies. Rules are easier and that is why most religions that have a list of rules are most popular with the populace. When we live grace, like Jesus, we open ourselves to keeping quiet and knowing He is God, even in the face of loud voices around us that cause our blood pressure to rise. Love you, love your blog, and love the fact you now live close to us!


  1. […] We’ve talked a lot about Grace over here the last few months. I’m learning what Grace is all over again – not the lofty concept that floats over you in church like an invisible shield of protection, but real, true Grace. The Grace that was given to us when Christ laid Himself bare on a tree. The Grace that is given to me every moment of every day by people around me. The Grace that we all claim to long for but are so slow to pass on. […]