With patience a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue will break a bone. Pro 25:15
It took me a minute to digest this verse, see what I did there? Digest, bone, wink wink. lol.
You'd think perhaps a strong and hard bite would break a bone but if the bone is stronger than your teeth, you are more likely to break your teeth.
Growing up, I was known as a chatter box or parrot, I loved to talk and I loved to talk fast. In secondary school, I was known to have a sharp mouth to everyone including seniors and I was always getting into trouble. I was convinced that I was always right even when I did not know anything. It never occurred to me that my opinion was not fact or always right and I did not respect that other people saw things differently. Unfortunately my attitude made others resistant to agreeing with me even when I was right which made me have more of an attitude. I was always trying to break bone with force and kept cracking my teeth instead.
During lockdown, I was going to visit my boo and decided I would leave the house earlier than curfew allowed to get the most of our time together but alas, VIO or road safety caught me and i couldn't bluff my way out of it. They carried me and my car to their office and collected my car keys. I was annoyed by it all and tried to be chill but as time passed, my annoyance grew. I decided my best strategy was for me to form hard guy and I started chochochoing, let’s just say that there is a reason God had to deliver me from my sharp mouth. Their intention was to keep us till it was legal time to move about but by the time they started releasing people, my matter had entered a critical level and the oga was determined to teach me a lesson. I was only able to get out hours later because someone else intervened and I was humbled.
Later that year, I found myself in their custody again because of expired car papers and this time I chose a soft tongue. I gently followed them to their office and when we got there, I apologized for the papers and was informed I'd have to pay a fine in addition to the renewal fees. I agreed and sat patiently without fuss, thanking God that I had the money to pay for it. As I sat there waiting, I watched another gentleman there who was using my former strategy and the staff there decided they were going to prove a point with him. In the end, they waived my fine and I only had to pay for renewing my papers. I gently left the poor guy there still making a fuss even as he was in the wrong.
When you are in a situation with a ‘ruler’ or a person with more power or authority than you, pause and consider before making a move. Patiently do a proper risk assessment before making a decision on how to act. I understand that most of us including myself would rather use braggado to get out of tough spots but this approach may end up getting us into more trouble. It’s important to have self awareness about who we are and what we have and most importantly, be discerning enough to read the room. Let patience be your strategy before rulers so that you may succeed in breaking bones.
31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace Luke 14:31-33
Gosh, this was humbling. It's good to know that silence and a soft tongue can have a stronger effect than trying to use strong words.
I've learnt to tell myself "you're talking too much" even if I always feel out of control when I'm not talking.
I enjoy your stories as they are easily relatable, reminds me of when I had an experience with road safety too, I have long chosen the softer approach, happy to be reminded again