When you take your new puppy to class they drill into your head the importance of teaching your dog the command STAY. It's purpose is to keep the dog safe. It stops the dog in its tracks, and keeps it from doing something which will harm itself or others. It is the check on the dogs impulsive nature.
On this ninth day of Christmas, St. John in Chapter 2 of his first letter is trying to teach us STAY. Like the dog, we can tend to react impulsively to outside stimuli, harming ourselves and others.
The verb St. John uses meno refers to remaining in a physical place, a state, or a relationship to something/someone else. He commands us
Remain in him. "Him" refers to both the Son and the Father (Verses 24 and 26). Choose whichever person of the trinity you wish, they are all God. If you prefer the translation, abide because you think it sounds more biblical that's fine too.
Personally I think the dog command is what is needed, STAY! -one syllable, sharp, clear.
The next time someone says something or does something that pushes your buttons, the first thing you should hear in your head is that voice of your conscience giving the calm but firm command STAY. Before you bark or jump at someone, stay.
It is also good for us to simply pause several times during the course of the day and in a quiet meditative way to practice staying. Close your eyes, breathe slowly, and stay. We practice in times of calm so that in the time of startle our trained response is to stay.
When we first wake up in the morning and when we are drifting off to sleep at night we should train ourselves to hear the voice of John calling us to remain in him.
As we begin to pay attention, we are amazed at how many times during the course of a single day we need to remind ourselves to stay.