I didn't write during the month of August. There's a reason for this. I felt it important to be quiet. Quietude is not a strength of mine. I mean, I'm a preacher. And, I'm an extroverted preacher, at that. I like people, and I like talking to people. My mom says I could engage a potted plant in interesting conversation. You get it. "Shh," isn't my strong suit.
But, silence has immense value. So, to wade back into the waters of my writing world, here's three reasons that you should consider moments — or even seasons — of silence.
Silence Allows You to Listen
You can't listen and talk at the same time. There are hurting people all around me. I know that the gospel is the answer for their pain. Yet, I don't always know how the gospel should answer their pain. When I am silent, I can hear them. I can hear God.
...a man of understanding remains silent. - Proverbs 11:12
Silence Allows You to Heal
I hear hurtful speech often. When I'm silent, I've found a place to both not hear the hurtful voice of my enemy, my flesh, and my detractors. Because of that, I can heal. I can listen to God's voice in the Spirit and the Scripture. I can remember who He says I am.
If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet. A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back. - Proverbs 29:9, 11
Silence Allows You to Stop
As much as I can hear hurtful speech, I can dish it out too. My strength of speaking, teaching, and stringing words together in funny, pithy ways can, if my sinful flesh takes hold, be really ugly. When I'm silent, I don't say the foolish things I'm thinking. God can correct my thinking, and I can change.
Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. - Proverbs 13:3
Never in the history of humanity has there been more recorded speech. And never has there been more mental illness, depression, anxiety, and all manner of brokenness. Maybe we who think we're wise should try shutting our mouths for a minute and listening. I'm trying to.
Give it a try with me.