We’ve forgotten how powerful it is to keep our mouths shut.
We forgot because we’re forced to talk. I’m told my class average will suffer if I fail to speak up. What if I don’t have anything to say? What if I don’t want to spit out noise to ensure a class participation grade? What if I’d rather let my thoughts accumulate and open my mouth when I have something worthwhile to add? We’re trained to show our faith and knowledge through both words and actions, but how often do we live the words we proclaim so boldly? Why don’t we spend more time dissecting and understanding our thoughts before we let them slide off our tongue and become contrasting actions?
We fall into this trap of constantly running our mouths because we think we look smarter if we always have something to say. Maybe it will make us more popular, or maybe friends will come to us first when they need information or wise words. Maybe it will boost our credibility if we’ve always got something to add to what’s already known.
I’ve realized the opposite is true. I’m facing things that shake me to my core before I step out of bed every morning, and it has made me want to punch people who run their mouths. It’s definitely not what Jesus would do, but what He has done is planted great respect in my heart for those who understand the beauty and power of silence.
I will reach for that person when I’m hurting. I won’t reach for the one who gossips – for all I know, I’ll be the next topic of conversation. The people whose mouths never stop running can’t possibly help me feel better because they never have time to think about what I’m saying if they’re always talking. I hear noise, not words. The person who always shares too much personal information reassures me they have never experienced what I’m experiencing, so why would I approach them if I am confident they cannot relate?
I’ll reach for the strong, silent type. I’ll reach for the one who enters a loud room and hones in on the one who’s singled out and alone. I’ll reach for the one who doesn’t tell me what to do when I’m hurting because I’m not a child, and I don’t need to be told what to do. I need to know there is someone I can word vomit all over – and I’m confident this is something we’re all looking for. We’re just too busy talking ourselves into temporary, idealistic bliss to realize how much we need silence.
Be quiet. Sit in a room with someone in awareness of their presence as you become aware of your own. Look someone in the eye, feel his or her struggles, pain and worries and discover the power of serving by simply being. Misery only loves company because company can negate misery.
Words are powerful, but their absence makes a stronger statement. Be quiet for a while and see what, or whom, you’ve blinded yourself to.