February 27, 2016

Read Ecclesiastes 5:1-7

You know that awkward pause that happens during social gatherings? It’s like every conversation stops at the same instant, creating a noticeable silence. Someone usually comments on the quiet. I read somewhere that on average such a break happens every seven minutes or so. You’d think we’d get used to the pauses, but we comment anyway. It makes me wonder if we’ve grown uncomfortable with silence.

I’d like to say that I’m not one to talk just to fill the silence, but that’s not true. I talk quite a bit, particularly when no one else is talking. In fact, very few of my friends have seen me at a loss for words. I’ll admit it; I even talk to myself if there’s no one else around to talk to me.

But when I’m really honest, I also admit there are times when I should be quiet, and I’m not. These are the times when I shouldn’t say those words of gossip or criticism, or when a friend just needs a listening ear and not my advice or opinions. In other words, sometimes I should probably embrace silence.

Many times in Scripture we see the importance of words. Proverbs tells us that pleasant words are pure and can heal (15:26 and 16:24). But, Proverbs also tells us that words can lead to sin and that those who refrain from many words are wise (10:19). The takeaway is that we should watch our words, and not speak them carelessly.

Am I watching my words? Are you?