Plank Pullin – The one where I fail to take my own advice.


It’s Plank Pullin’ time! The one day a week that we strongly resolve to ignore the multitude of specks and sawdust around us and pull one bona fide plank from our own eye. Matthew 7:3-5 style.


First off, can I just say that I love this series?  It has for real affected my life for the less planky and I love the accountability it brings.  It’s slightly to very uncomfortable and it involves taking a long hard look in the dirty mirror.  And I realize that’s probably why it will never be a viral hit in the blogging world.  Plank Pullin is probably the hardest meme out there that I know of right now.  It takes a lot of humility and bravery and I’d just like to say you guys who do participate are awesome.  So there.


Well, as usual, my plank this week is about me tripping over my own foot and/or tongue.  Blast that tongue!


I found myself in the position of giving advice to a couple of friends who were having trouble in the last week or so.  And I found myself repeatedly telling them that the best thing they could do was to be quiet.  Stop talking about how upset or hurt they were by the other person.  Stop responding every time the other person said something.  “I don’t care what they say”, I said.  “Even if they say something irrational, or unfair, or flat out wrong, just don’t reply.  The only power you have is to be quiet.”  “Jesus didn’t retaliate”, said Jessica-the-wise.  “Build a good reputation so that when people slander you they look foolish” I said.


Well, you know how you can’t learn a new language without using it?  Yeah, I think God made a point with me this week that the same goes for the language of love.  So in danced a situation that gave me the opportunity to walk my talk.


Needless to say, I pretty much failed.  In my defense (because we all like to defend ourselves, don’t we?)  I didn’t yell, or curse, or name-call or anything crazy.  But I should’ve been quiet.  I should’ve recognized that there’s a time and place for everything and that wasn’t the time or place for that particular conversation.  And I definitely should’ve remembered the semi-golden rule : “When people are upset, they can’t hear you.  So shut up.”  Re-explaining yourself, no matter how rationally, doesn’t work if the other person is agitated.  And I know this.  But sometimes it’s just. so. hard to stop talking.  Am I right?


Sigh.  Consider this plank pulled.

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  1. Yep. Even harder to keep quiet when your name and reputation are being slaughtered.

    • Yep. And it’s so easy for me to give advice about letting your reputation speak for itself until I get in a similar situation. Lol.

  2. You are so right. I have trouble with that one too.

  3. I happen to catch myself Not saying what’s on my mind quite often. But then I start to wonder: When do I get to voice my opinion? When do I get to say what’s on my mind? When does what I have to say matter?

    • I don’t know. Sometimes there’s a time and a place to come back when tempers are cooler, and I know in this circumstance it wasn’t the right place. Probably should’ve waited for another time.

  4. I’ve been practicing this a LOT lately. The bonus is that, obedience brings blessing. At least that is what we have seen this week.
    Funny thing, Nico’s “step-dad” piped in on a Facebook conversation and was totally off the mark. As I sat down to peck out a harsh and blunt reply to him……. Chrome totally crashed. I shut it down and tried to restart to get my snappy come-back in. Crashed. lol Sometimes when needed, the Holy Spirit will shut me up, I guess!

  5. Julie Williams says:

    I have found the quickest way to get someone to stop talking about me is to agree with them and what they are saying..tell them ” you are right” stops them in their tracks every time ( whether they are right or not doesnt really matter) I use it on my DH too..when we are disagreeing about something.. i will use that line on him and it stops the arguing. I think we need to learn to pick our fights as well as our words that we use.

  6. I used to be a know it all, and I was happy to let people know that I knew more than they did. Or so I thought. God has done and continues to do a mighty work in me in this area, and I am knowing some major peace time now, and am thankful. This post hit home w/ me. Giving advice is so easy…living it is another story. ;)

  7. I said WAY too much (in the way of advice ( that almost sounded like i was scolding her!)) to my husbands ex on Monday night….after all, surely I’m a far better mother than she is! ***GULP***

    I went over to her house last night and apologized.

    Plank pulled – even before your ‘reminder’ ! :)

    • Ooh, yeah that can be a hard line to walk. I find myself trying to find that balance of offering parenting advice or not. Good on you for apologizing though, that’s a rare thing these days.

  8. Man, I love the part about people who are upset not being able to hear you. I can see this truth in a recent rumble at our Christian homeschool group’s co-op. I tried over and over to tell our side of the story and work things out and get closure. But it wasn’t happening. And my efforts and her rejection of them just made me even angrier. Knowing when to be quiet is definitely a weakness I share with you!