Silence is frightening because it strips us as nothing else does.
—Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines.
Silence is the willful choice to quiet every voice.
“Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps 46:10).
“Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD, for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling” (Zech 2:13).
- Silence frees us from the temptation to control people or circumstances with our words. When we’re silent, we tacitly agree to trust God and wait for him, just as Jesus did. Consider 1 Pt 3:16, “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.” Jesus knew the words of Isaiah “in quietness and in trust shall be your strength” (Is 30:15).
- Silence disarms the weapons of our duplicity; namely, the “words” that wage war in relationships. How often have you said one thing but meant another in an effort to hide your true thoughts and feelings? Silence strips us of deceit and forces us to remain honest. There is nothing dishonest about silence. Pr 10:19, “When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.”
- In silence we express our hope and trust in God rather than take matters into our own hands. “For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation…For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.” Ps 62:1, 5. “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him” (Ps 37:7).
- Silence gives us the time to consider our words carefully so our mouths don’t unexpectedly
“erupt.” Jm 1:26 “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.”
- In silence the doorway to our heart is opened to receive the healing touch of God’s love. “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love” (Zeph 3:17).
- Silence provides opportunity to respect others’ need to be heard. Jm 1:19, “let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak.”