Wednesday Wisdom With Wyndham – 27

Wisdom Brings a Calming Voice of Reason

It’s really quite difficult to keep emotions out of difficult situations or conversations. Especially when we have been hurt. Especially when we think something is unfair. We can easily become, in my friend Gordon’s words, “wrapped around the axle.”  When this happens, our words produce turbulence rather than peace.

A voice of reason calms. A quick tongue stirs up.

When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. (Proverbs 10:19)

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
(James 1:19-20)

A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. (Proverbs 19:11)

I have long admired and learned from Wyndham’s strong, but calm posture in the face of difficult conversations and situations. Even amidst verbal attacks he reasoned, he listened, and sought to keep a Biblical perspective— looking to what was right over who was right. When wrong, he was quick to apologize, but if Biblical standards were clear, he was immovable. This came from his desire to have the righteous life God desires above all else. He worked and prayed hard to gain and maintain this posture and to overcome the temptation to become angry. He will be the first to tell you this.

From Bud Chiles’ kind words below, I’m reminded of  the importance of being a calming voice of reason, a peacemaker, and one who treats another with respect.

Wisdom asks:

  • Am I a calming voice of reason or an escalating voice of emotion?
  • Do I seek a Biblical perspective, or a perspective based on my opinions and feelings?
  • Do my conversations build bridges or create chasms?

Thanks, Bud, for your kind words and your friendship: 

Kitty and I had no idea what God had in store for us when we made the decision to move from Florida to NY in 1993. The move empowered changes in our marriage and the faith of our children for which we will be forever grateful.

These changes occurred because God used people like Wyndham to inspire us, to instruct us in the ways of the Spirit, and to love and befriend us.

We got to know Wyndham and Jeanie well through our shared ministry work with Hope worldwide. They led the New England and Europe work while we worked with Hope in Africa, the Caribbean and the Hope For Kids project in the US.

They were deeply experienced and wise leaders in our movement, and we were total rookies. But this fact did not color my relationship with Wyndham. From the get-go, he treated me as a friend and treated me with respect. He actually wanted to learn from me! That meant so much to me to have his deep friendship when I knew he far outpaced me in the fruits of God’s Spirit.

I treasure all the talks we had that always helped me to get a Biblical perspective on the challenges we faced with our work and lives. He was always the calming voice of reason when there was disagreement about how to move forward with Hope or how to resolve issues. He was and is a true peacemaker and his spiritual talent in this area has been used to great advantage all over the Kingdom. To me, he seemed to have been born an elder, yet I knew he struggled as we all do.

The fellowship times with Wyndham were and are always so sweet. Fishing together on Woodpecker Pond, vacationing together in Puerto Rico. We are both Florida Gators, both love the outdoors, and both love God and his family.
What a fellowship! What a friend for life!
Lawton (Bud) Chiles

 Blessed are the peacemakers
For they shall be called sons of God.
(Matthew 5:9)

May we all be calming voices of reason, treat each other with respect, and hold tight to a Biblical perspective.

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  1. Kitty Chiles

    Can I get this photo ?

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. aladyinfrance

    This is lovely. And it’s great to see a photo of the four of you together.

  3. Terri Nida

    I needed this, Jeannie. I am someone that blurts things out out of emotion and I’ve gotten myself in trouble so many times. Thank you for this gentle reminder. – Terri


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About Jeanie Shaw

After retiring from forty-five years in full-time ministry, Jeanie Shaw went back to school to earn her master’s and doctorate in spiritual formation and discipleship. She also serves as a certified Christian life coach who loves helping people discover the joy, peace, and purpose that come from finding and following God’s plan for their lives. She has taught classes and workshops all over the world and has written numerous books. She has four grown children, eight grandchildren, and a golden retriever who thinks he is human. When she is not reading, writing, coaching, teaching, or enjoying her family she might be found walking along rivers, learning new lessons about life.

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