Yes, it does sometimes.
You know how clearly you can hear an awkward silence?
At the same time if someone rambles on and on about something that doesn’t interest you, its easy to check out and not hear a word they say.
So it is possible for silence to speak louder then words sometimes, right?
Yes, I am aware that you can’t actually ‘hear’ something that isn’t audible, but the fact remains that we can convey a lot through body language, our actions and our life. We can say a lot without saying a word.
Our actions speak louder then our words.
This is a quote I always liked because it is 100% true.
Someone can use as many fancy words as they want to convince me to see something their way, but if it doesn’t make sense with what I actually see in life, then…
Well… It just simply doesn’t make sense.
And you will not convince me that it does.
I searched Bible verses on silence and was a bit amazed. The Bible actually has a lot more to say about staying quiet then I realized.
Transgression is at work where people talk to much, but anyone who holds his tongue is prudent. Proverbs 10:19
Whoever guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble. Proverbs 21:23
Every time I read these verses, I thought of gossiping, telling unclean jokes, just talking for the sake of talking or you know, anything that falls into that kind of category.
What if we take it a step farther?
What if we use these verses as a guide when discussing our beliefs? Our convictions, ideas or even the things we know someone else is getting wrong?
What if we try silent love, instead of damaging words?
There is a ton of different opinions out there and it doesn’t matter how loudly or how confidently we make our opinion known, we still wont change many people’s minds.
In fact, often… the louder we talk the less people listen.
The quiet words of the wise are more heeded then the shouts of a ruler of fools Ecclesiastes 9:17
On the other hand, if we keep our mouths shut, it gives God an opportunity to simply work through us, to speak to people through our lives.
The devil doesn’t want anyone to get it right, so if you are a true christian who has lots of contact with unbelievers or religious people, what does he do?
First he does everything he can to make them uncomfortable around you and he puts them in defense mode.
Second, he does everything he can to make you say too much.
Think about that…
If you your defenses already go up when you’re around me, and then on top of that all I do is tell you what you’re doing wrong, or how there’s a better way…
Will you listen to me?
I know I definitely wouldn’t listen to myself!
This isn’t just a theory I came up with. This is something that God put on my heart a long time ago, and I have seen it work…
Not once, but twice in a big way. And many more times on a smaller scale.
Prayer and silent love will change more hearts any day then words ever can.
There is also a time to speak though…
a time to be silent and a time to speak. Ecclesiastes 3:7
God can always speak through our lives to people, but sometimes he does need us to open our mouth and speak, especially when dealing with people who know nothing about the gospel.
The key, I believe, is to be in tune with the Holy Spirit and follow his promptings, wether he asks us to speak or be silent.
I think being in tune with the Holy Spirit is actually extremely important because through our words we have the power to turn people toward Christ or away from him.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. Proverbs 18:21
What about our choice of words?
Does it matter if we walk around with a negative attitude? Carelessly throwing around words such as: ‘You can’t do it.’ or ‘He’ll never amount to anything with an attitude like that!’
Does it matter if we use all the popular little quips such as: ‘wait till you have teens!’ or ‘wait till she hits those terrible twos!’ or ‘The first year of marriage is hard!’
Does it matter?
Honestly I think it does.
I believe the words we speak hold a lot of power.
I think we have probably all experienced how someone’s words have either made our situation worse or they have encouraged us to keep pressing on.
Then theres the spiritual realm.
Do you know what happens when you say to an engaged couple: “The first year is hard.” Or to the new parent: “Just wait till you have teens!”
It opens doors for the enemy.
As we look ahead we have this unhealthy expectation of bad things happening, and the enemy will play into those expectations to actually make bad things happen!
So we know not to speak these words but what if, someone speaks them over us?
We need to refuse to receive them!
We can literally use the words: “I don’t receive that.”
Because if we do receive them, we just opened the door for the enemy. We just gave him a ‘right’ in our lives and thats a dangerous thing to do because that is one of his tricks, he starts small but then continues to push his way deeper and deeper into our lives.
And it all started with poorly chosen words!
One More Thought…
Praise or flattery?
Praise means: ‘the expression of approval or admiration for someone.’
Praising people for a job well done is always good.
Flattery means: ‘excessive or insincere praise, especially when used to further ones own interest.’
Using flattery is obviously selfish and never a good thing. While praise will encourage someone flattery can actually tear the down.
God is always in control no matter how badly we mess up but he also gives us choices. He gave us the ability to choose our words.
So lets choose carefully.
Let’s chose words that build up without crossing the line into flattery territory.
Let’s choose words that will further God’s kingdom and tear down the kingdom of darkness.