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The Power of Keeping Quiet: Learning from the Bible

Understanding When to Speak and When to Be Quiet

The Bible teaches us about the right time to talk and the right time to stay quiet. It tells us that our words are important, but sometimes not saying anything is just as important. In Ecclesiastes 5:7, we are reminded, "Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore fear God." This means that talking too much or daydreaming doesn't really help us; instead, we should respect and be mindful of God.


Talking Too Much Can Be Risky

Long ago, wise people knew that talking too much could cause problems. The Bible says in Proverbs 10:19, "When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise." This means if we talk a lot, we might say things we shouldn't. But if we keep quiet, we can avoid these mistakes. Proverbs 17:28 tells us, "Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue." So, if we don't talk too much, people might see us as wise.


Learning to Control What We Say

Controlling our words isn't about never speaking; it's about knowing when to speak. Proverbs 21:23 gives us a tip: "He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity." This means being careful about what we say can keep us out of trouble. It's not just about not talking, but also about listening well and learning from being quiet.


Balancing Talking and Silence

Finding the right balance between talking and being silent is like making a beautiful piece of art. Ecclesiastes 5:3 says, "A dream comes when there are many cares, and many words mark the speech of a fool." This suggests that being wise with our words is valuable. When we're quiet, we can find peace and hear God better.


How to Practice Being Quiet

The Bible doesn't just tell us to talk less; it also shows us how to do it. Here are some ways:

  • Meditating on God's Words: Psalm 1:2 tells us to enjoy and think about God's teachings all the time. This can help us focus on what's important and talk less about unimportant things.
  • Being Slow to Speak: James 1:19 says, "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." This means we should listen more and talk less.
  • Asking God for Help: Psalm 141:3 is a prayer that says, "Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips." We can ask God to help us control what we say.
  • Thinking Before Speaking: Before we talk, we should think about whether what we're going to say is true, necessary, and kind, as suggested by Ephesians 4:29.
  • Taking Breaks from Talking: Sometimes, choosing to be silent for a while can help us learn to say only what's really needed.


Combining Talking and Silence

Mixing talking and silence well takes effort. We need to know when it's good to talk and when it's better to be quiet. Our words can either help or hurt, comfort or upset. There's a special pattern to follow that matches God's own timing.

In the end, the Bible's advice about talking and being quiet isn't just about being silent. It's about connecting more deeply with others and the world. It encourages us to say things that are helpful, healing, and kind. When we control our words, we make room for God to speak through us, helping us to bring positivity and life to everyone we meet.




Further Reading

  1. "The Attributes of God" by A.W. Tozer
  2. "Knowing God" by J.I. Packer
  3. "The Holiness of God" by R.C. Sproul
  4. "The Pursuit of God" by A.W. Tozer
  5. "God's Passion for His Glory" by John Piper

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