Sometimes the quiet can be deafening, especially when there is a long silent pause in a serious conversation. At other times that silence is just what we desperately need. We have a natural tendency to add our “two cents” to any topic discussed, and try to “get in the last word!”
The popular phrase “silence is golden” was used for a song title many years ago. The phrase has a calming effect, bringing a hush to our souls. We are so accustomed to constant noise in our surroundings that we now seem to routinely avoid silence. We begin our days with the blaring sound of alarm clocks. Without even thinking we turn on music or televisions. Commuters turn the ignition key in their vehicles and then crank up music or talk from their sound systems.
Solomon touched on the subject of silence with words of wisdom. “A time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak,
(Ecclesiastes 3:7 NKJ)...” Two other phrases pop into my mind. “Hold your tongue!” “Speak up!” Yes, there are times we need to “zip it,” and times when we need to let our thoughts be known, developing the art of balance in our speech.
On two occasions Jesus demonstrated the wisdom of golden silence. As he stood before Pilate facing crucifixion He did not speak in His own defense. (John 19:6-11) Hearing Pilates questioning “Jesus gave him no answer (John 19:9b NKJ).” He trusted His Father in matters of life and death. During His ministry He once was approached by a woman desperately seeking help for her tormented daughter. (Matthew 15:21-28) With her persistent begging ringing in His ears, scripture records His response. “But He answered her not a word (Verse 23a NKJ).” This behavior confuses us because it was, and is His character to show compassion to the needy.
Possibly He was testing her faith, or maybe He wanted His disciples to be confronted with their prejudice against those outside of their Jewish faith, as well as against women. I’m unsure; but that “silence was golden.” She continued to cry out for His help; and her daughter was healed because of her great faith! The next time silence is deafening, silently pause and follow God’s advice. “Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10 NKJ).”
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