I’ll start with a disclaimer, as you may have thought the “silence” part of my title had something to do with the pro-life movement. Sorry, this is about me deliberating when to be silent.
See, I’ve been getting sick a lot this winter. Nothing fancy, just a cold or the flu, but one thing I’ve noticed that’s reoccurring, is that I either loose my voice or it’s super scratchy and hard to understand me. The last time I got sick, I really realized how much I speak during a given day. As a typical family, we’re in the car a lot during the day. I started telling my kids I was going to rest my voice and so I wouldn’t be talking for a few minutes. They understood (or so they said) and two minutes later they were either asking me a question or pointing something out that they saw, and expecting a response. It took just as much energy to answer their question but I found myself wasting my energy by reminding them I wasn’t speaking and leaving their questions unanswered. This of course made my husband laugh at me (more that once) as he pointed out that it would have taken less words to just answer their question.
What I’ve really noticed in all of this, is the amount of my voice that’s wasted during the day, saying frivolous thing, either through gossip, complaining, whining, yelling or speaking harshly to my children, usually over silly things like putting away their shoes. Perhaps God is pointing out to me the power of the spoken word and the power of silence and when the use of words is and is not prudent. How many times would a simple touch on the shoulder been more loving that my harsh tone? How often would a smile and a hug be better that giving unwanted advice to a friend that’s hurting?
So in my hope to continue to grow daily in my walk with the Lord, I’m deciding to take time this week and think before I speak. I’ll try to take even a few seconds, to ask myself if the words I’m about to use, are being used to help or hinder, to love or to hurt.
What are the words you use during the day that are essential? What areas of your day could silence be a better choice?