Shhh. Be quiet. I remember my Mom often saying to us that if we didn't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. I think I've learned that lesson because I am seldom caught saying mean things about or to others. Even if I think the words that can hurt, I find myself trying to hold back, or at the most, say what I need to say in a kind and gentle way. It doesn't always work. Sometimes even those so called kind and gentle words come out with a sharp edge and hurt someone.
I do find it hard to be silent sometimes. I want to get into a conversation, or to let my thoughts find a voice. I guess we all do. Some people can get away with saying whatever they want, others find it a disaster no matter how they frame their words. Me? I guess I land in the middle of those two extremes. If I plan carefully I might be able to say what I want without repercussions. However, there are times when my words tumble about, and no matter how well planned they fall onto the ground and make a puddle of mud that I have to wade through. YUCK. I don't like when that happens. So, I am learning to be silent.
Silence is not an admission that a person is wrong, nor does it indicate their intelligence or lack thereof. Silence should be used in balance, always letting God direct our words to do the best for others. Silence can be wise, kind, and a sign of trust. Jesus was silent before His accusers. He put His trust in the Father and kept the truth to Himself. Jesus knew that to be silent would allow evil to have its way and yet, He let it be.
What do I learn from Jesus about silence? I learn that there is a time when the Father would demand silence for the greater good. He might even demand it of me. In fact, in my silence, I might hear the Fathers' voice more clearly. Jesus stood in silence. Maybe He heard the Fathers' voice above all the shouting. Maybe He heard, "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." I hope He didn't have to hear the cries of, "Crucify Him. Crucify Him!" Sadly I think He did.
Lord Jesus, Your silence speaks loudly to me. You chose to allow evil have its day so that You would have the final victory. I look back over many times when I have failed to ask You when to speak and when to keep silent. Forgive me for choosing my own way, and not Yours. Thank You for teaching me about the gift of silence, even when it takes me to an uncomfortable place. Let me sit before You often in silence so that I can hear Your voice above the noise of the world and the thoughts that scream for attention in my mind. I love Your voice. It is wise and kind and in it I can trust!