the case for silence

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

I have never been very good at this one. When I think something needs to be said for whatever reason, I am willing to say it and more often than not I do.

But what would it look like if one would simply remain silent? Not in a grudging kind of way, but in love, listening well to the other, or others. Carefully considering what they say. And then if asked, offering something in response while highlighting the point of agreement in the conversation.

For myself I think there is a good case when I disagree or see things differently to simply remain silent. When I do, I think if I do speak, the words might carry more weight and at least would be respected more. I also think it’s a point of humility to let others have their say and let the weight of their words have their effect. Perhaps they will and should win the day.

Silence is to be desired according to scripture (you can see that in more ways than one), but we often desire to speak our piece with the desire that that would end the conversation. But it won’t.

What we do need to avoid is to be quiet, but to fail to do so in love. We should give our full attention to others, to the other when we don’t see eye to eye with them. If we speak at all we do well to be slow to do so. Measuring our words, so that in and through God’s grace, his love and peace in Jesus might rule in our hearts in the midst of and even in spite of our differences. A tall order indeed. But part of our calling together in Jesus by the Spirit for the world.