Silence is Golden

“The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.” Proverbs 17:27

We all know people who love to talk, who always have an opinion and who are happy to make it known. Often these are people ready for an argument, maybe even looking for one. And social media encourages everyone to have a voice and to take a stand.

But jumping into a conversation is not always the best thing to do. As American historian Will Durant, astutely pointed out “one of the lessons of history is that nothing is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say.” The Bible generally agrees. “Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.” (Proverbs 17:28)

Not being quick to speak goes hand in hand with not being quick to get angry. James 1:19-20 says, “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.” Waiting to speak and restraining anger gives us time to reflect and to figure out how best to respond or if to respond at all.

Using words with restraint and being slow to get angry is Godly. Numerous scriptures tell us “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.” We, like God, should be motivated by love. When it is time to speak, and there is “a time to be silent and a time to speak,” (Ecclesiastes 3:7), we should “speak the truth in love.” (Ephesians 4:15) Then what we say is more likely to be “what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)

May we learn to use words with restraint and remember that when we’re tempted to engage in a war of words nothing may be the best thing to say.

Are you slow to speak?

Remember, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1)

Having begun as a guest speaker in 2005, Dan was appointed Interim Pastor in 2008 and has been serving Maple Root Baptist ever since. As a small group leader and Chaplin for the Connecticut Tigers, Dan has a heart for the lost and the God that saves them.

Dan Kinnaman

Pastor, Maple Root Baptist Church