If someone from the past visited us today, they would very quickly realize that we all have a lot of opinions and most of us express those opinions frequently. In the U.S, freedom of speech is a right to be thankful for, but I wonder if living in a society where every one express themselves 24/7 causes us to forget the power of silence.
The ability to refrain from expressing yourself without being bitter, suppressing emotions or feeling oppressed is nothing short of a virtue. The benefits of controlling or delaying your input can have positive effects on both your relationships and wellness. Let’s look at some of those benefits.
Being silent allows you to actually listen.
Conversations involve dialogue. I say something, you say something in response. We all know how it works. But when you opt for silence, you give yourself the opportunity to actively listen to the person speaking. You are not interrupting them to make a point, correct them or even agree with them. You are simply listening. You can use body language to show that you are engaged, but you are silent.
This will, at the very least, do two things. It will allow the person speaking to feel like they are actually being heard. It will also allow you to actually hear what they are saying. As a result of those things, you will likely experience less confusion, arguments and establish trust and respect in the relationship.
Being silent will allow you to hear from God.
By exercising the ability to be silent, you will allow yourself the opportunity to hear from God more. When we complain, brag, or talk too much we drown out the soft guidance of the Holy Spirit. I know this from experience. At times when I have chosen to pray instead of talk about problems or choices I have to make, it is like the lack of my words allowed me to hear with my heart.
“This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger…”
Being silent will allow you to not be driven by emotion.
I’m 100% sure I am not the only person to cringe when I think of things I have said in the past.
When you choose to be silent in emotional moments, you can save yourself from saying something you will end up regretting. The words we speak are important and have great power.
“What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”
“Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.”
So think about it. Most of us are mindful of what goes into our mouths. Let’s be mindful of what comes out of it. Let silence be your filter, listen for God to lead you in your silent moments and use the power of silence to allow you to be more in tune with what others have to say.