Silence truly can be golden. I can remember like it was yesterday when my very wise mother washed out my brother Jimmy’s mouth with soap for saying the most dreaded foul four letter word that is unfortunately used in everyday language today.
He was testing the waters of his ability to shock and awe our mom and she was having none of it. It is interesting to note that I never once heard him utter that word again even to this day.
The only damage it did to him was to let him know his smart and vulgar mouth would simply not be tolerated. And it worked. As I watched from the down the hall, I also learned that foul language was not welcome in our home.
If she had spanked him, well, I think he would have just shrugged it off, but this was different. He got the message – sometimes it is just smart to be silent. Anyway, mom never spanked us because she said we were good kids. Until that fateful day, however, when that four letter word hung in the air and sounded like he had yelled it through a megaphone.
The Beauty and Wisdom of Silence:
A while back I came across a list of Biblical teachings regarding Christians holding their tongues. Hmm…now that should hit us just where it hurts. We have all been guilty of the wayward tongue in some fashion or another, so we can all learn something here.
The Book of James teaches us that the tongue is a wicked thing. It destroys reputations, attacks good character, it can be vulgar and damning and just downright evil. Whisperers and backbiters leave behind a road of utter destruction. Only the Holy Spirit can keep our tongues under check. When we allow Him to do so, that is.
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. (James 3:6-8)
This is a list of 20 times we should remain silent. None of us hit the mark when it comes to controlling our tongues. Many of you can probably add to the list.
- Be Silent in the heat of anger (Proverbs 14:17)
- Be Silent when you don’t have all the facts. (Proverbs 18:13)
- Be Silent when you haven’t verified the story. (Deuteronomy 17:6)
- Be Silent if your words offend a weaker person. (1 Corinthians 8:11)
- Be Silent when it is time to listen. (Proverbs 13:1)
- Be Silent when you are tempted to make light of Holy things. (Ecclesiastes 5:2)
- Be Silent when you are tempted to joke about sin. (Proverbs 14:9)
- Be Silent if you would be ashamed of your words later. (Proverbs 8:8)
- Be Silent if your words convey the wrong impression. (Proverbs 17:27)
- Be Silent if the issue is none of your business. (Proverbs 14:10)
- Be Silent when you are tempted to tell an outright lie. (Proverbs 4:24)
- Be Silent if your words will damage someone else’s reputation. (Proverbs 16:27)
- Be Silent if you words will damage a friendship. (Proverbs 16:28)
- Be Silent when you are feeling critical. (James 3:9)
- Be Silent if you can’t say it without screaming it. (Proverbs 25:28)
- Be Silent if your words will be a poor reflection on the Lord or your friend or your family. (1 Peter 2:21-23)
- Be Silent when you may have to eat your words later. (Proverbs 18:21)
- Be Silent if you have already said it more than one time. (Proverbs 19:13)
- Be Silent when you are tempted to flatter a wicked person. (Proverbs 24:24)
- Be Silent when you are supposed to be working. (Proverbs 14:23)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” (John 14:6-7)
All glory to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,