A Time to Keep Silent, and a Time to Speak
There are many instances in which we are to speak. And still there are just as many opportunities in which we should remain silent.
There are many situations where silence is recommended, if not required. Sadly, I spent many days sitting in a courtroom. When the bailiff announces ‘All Rise’, everyone in the court must remain silent until the judge requests your testimony. If you choose disregard this protocol, you can be charged with contempt of court and fined.
Another example is in church. Although some may disagree, during Sunday worship service while the pastor or God’s messenger is delivering the Word, we should practice reverence and desire to remain silent to grasp the message, and to not hinder or distract others from listening.
Even still, there are other times when practicing silence is wise. For instance, when receiving correction or instruction. Personally, I am still learning to remain silent at times when someone is holding me accountable, or during times when a brother or sister is offering constructive criticism.
The Bible states, “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.” (Proverbs 17:28) Discerning when to speak and when not to speak is challenging because it is not simply about remaining silent or governing your mouth, rather it’s about practicing rule over your emotions. But that’s a topic for another time.
There is a time to speak, however. “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.” (Ephesians 4:15)
The key motivation here is love. Since we are to love as Christ loves us, we should seize opportunities to engage in healthy communication. This might mean sharing the gospel to a non-believer, or encouraging a saint in dark hour of life. Sometimes God will lay on your heart to hold a friend accountable to win him or her back into fellowship. Other examples of speaking the truth in love are: husbands saying nice things to their wives; wives encouraging their husband to be the man God calls him to be; children respecting their parents in speech; and parents honoring their children in Lord.
The list goes on. And if we allow God to lead us, we will grasp the concept when to speak and when to remain silent making us all the wiser in the long run.
Do you recall a time that you chose to speak or not speak, and it did not turn out favorably? Please share in the comments below. – Juan Mendez is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and is an on-line student at Lancaster Bible College. He serves full-time at America’s Keswick
Think About This: If we pray for anything according to the will of God, we already have what we pray for the moment we ask it. We do not know exactly when it will arrive; but we have learned to know God through the Spirit of God; and have learned to leave this in His hands; and to live just as happily whether the answer arrives immediately or later. O. Hallesby
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Psalm 63:5-6