Words of Worth

A Time to Be Silent

September 7, 2010

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…”

(Ecclesiastes 3: 1)

“A time to be silent and a time to speak…”

(Ecclesiastes 3:7) 

A time to be silent? Something just seems so wrong about that verse!  Surely God knows women read the Bible!  Surely He knows that women use twice as many words a day as men (probably because we have to repeat everything we say to them).  Yet, if Solomon, the wisest man in the entire world, suggests that there is a time to be silent, it must be so. However, when would it be a good time for women, or anyone for that matter, to be silent?

If we look into God’s word, I think we will agree that there is a time to keep silent.  Here are a couple of examples:

Proverbs 10:19 “when words are many, sin is not absent.”

Proverbs 17:28  “Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent!”

So it appears that silence is a good idea, but WHEN should we be silent?  Though it may seem contradictory, there are seasons in life when we need to keep silent even while relating to others. 

Prior to my dad knowing he needed a pacemaker, he had several medical emergencies that required a swift trip to the hospital in order to get his heart rhythm back in sync.  Every time one of these crises occurred, my dad did this unique thing.  He’d either have my mother or I drive him to the rescue squad.  Many a conversation I had with my father asking him, “What part of 9-1-1 don’t you understand?  The Rescue Squad is not like a Stewart’s Root Beer stand where you pull up and order a bus to go.” However, never in the midst of driving him to the rescue squad (yes, I did—several times), and never in the midst of uncertainty as to what was going on with his heart, did I ever ask those questions.  Then I was in the season of silence, not wanting to add more angst to an already tense situation.

Anxious circumstances are often best attended by just “being” and not saying.  Often there aren’t even any appropriate words to say aloud, but a hand held, a warm hug, or an encouraging smile can speak volumes.

 Looking for more words?  Read Proverbs 10:8:  12: 23; 15: 2

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